Do you remember back in 2015 when the internet collectively worked together to have fun and donate to a good cause at the same time? Through the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a marriage of old and new media promoted a good cause and ultimately made a huge impact on research and awareness of ALS.
Oh, to go back to the good old days when everything was wholesome and we kept our kids safe.
Anyway, now we have the Tide Pod Challenge. At the start of this year a new challenge has emerged that has “taken the internet by storm” as your local news anchor would say. Teenagers are recording themselves eating tide pods and posting them to Facebook and YouTube. Most of these videos consist of a teen laughing as they put the detergent pod in their mouths, then spitting it out. Facebook and YouTube are taking any videos with this type of content down, since they violate their terms of services.
Obviously this is dumb. No one has died from this challenge so far, but there have been spikes in calls to poison control since this challenge began to gain momentum.
I have nothing else to say that others haven’t said other than this: teenagers being stupid is nothing new. Sure, there is the viral component of the internet now, but the need for attention is a funny and ageless thing. When I was in high school, I had friends who did the cinnamon challenge, and later the Kylie Jenner challenge. Before that there was the ice and salt challenge, which I saw people do in middle school in front of friends, no social media involved. When I was in elementary school, a little boy stuck a been so far up his nose he had to go to the emergency room, just to make the three or four kids sitting at his table laugh.
Johnny Knoxville did reckless things on television, some of his viewers would do reckless things at home, and some people blamed television. This situation shouldn’t be taken lightly by any means, but lets not act like this is something brand new.