The “mature bag” memes have flooded the feeds of our social media pages for days now. Before this, there was the #bottlecapchallenge preceded by #JCBkikhudayi. Viral trends on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok have now become a norm and at any given point of time, we find our feeds to be dominated by videos, pictures and memes all showing us the same thing.
The challenges on social media accounts have witnessed an upsurge in popularity and participation but these challenges can be fun and fatal at the same time. The Kiki challenge inspired by Drake’s release saw a whirlwind of reaction from law enforcement agencies around the world. Containing the chaos had become difficult with people arbitrarily stepping out of cars, shooting a video, endangering the lives of people around them and their own.
Over the past few years the following challenges have dominated participation and viewership on social media platforms:
Dele Alli Hand Challenge
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
These challenges have been performed by celebrities and influencers around the world, touting even more people to take on the challenge. Whilst these challenges serve as a promotional event in several cases sometimes even the most arbitrary events can trigger these challenges. “Aise kaise chalega didi” a phrase/meme that has been trending on the internet for quite some time now is a play on words teasing West Bengal’s CM Mamata Banerjee. The meme became viral but the TMC party did not take lightly to it. The meme even catalyzed an arrest. These memes always need to be treated with a pinch of salt.
Some challenges on different platforms have also brought a smile to many faces, the 10-year challenge has had some very funny takes on it with platforms such as Twitter and Instagram bursting to their seams with content regarding the same. Some like the Kiki challenge or the fatal Bird Box challenge have raised the issue of blind faith in these challenges. The Bird Box challenge apart from being physically dangerous has raised some questions among scientific communities and the adverse reactions people are garnering towards the blind community.
All these challenges and trends are well and good until they hurt you or anyone else. Hurt here is not just physical but possible mental incapacitation as well. Whilst these challenges help people to engage and interact and build a community, they should not be performed for the sake of other people. Participants should take note and grasp a situation before engaging in something that is potentially harmful.