Almost everyone loves a good challenge. We start out as youngsters doing things because another kid said, “I dare you.” Even into adulthood, someone saying “you can’t” can inspire people to go to incredible lengths to prove someone wrong. These can go from simple to crazy to actually life-threatening. Here in the 21st century, the simple challenge can go from being between two people to a worldwide phenomenon. Let’s take a look at some of the best challenges found in the world of social media.
10. Ice Bucket
While many social media challenges are meant as games, this one had some serious real-world impact. It was an awareness campaign for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. A bucket of ice and water is dumped on someone’s head while being filmed. Some people pour the bucket over their own head; others have others dump it for them. The challenge was first tried in the summer of 2014. The ALS Association says $115 million has been raised from the challenge.
9. Bottle Flipping
In 2016, Michael Senatore, a student at Ardrey Kell High School in Charlotte, NC, performed this one at a school talent show. He had been practicing in his chemistry class since the previous year. The idea is to take a partially-filled water bottle, and flip it in the air in such a way that it lands upright, or standing on its cap. Other than the potentially irritating sounds of bottles constantly thumping on the furniture, this challenge is pretty harmless.
This challenge is more of a prank than anything. It was first seen in August 2018 when two sisters threw a blanket over their little brother, said they “cast a spell on him,” removed the blanket, and pretended they couldn’t see him. It worked, as the little boy began to plead with his mother to say she could see him. The challenge made its way around Twitter before inspiring many YouTube videos.
Another body challenge that became popular is the mannequin challenge. This challenge was a video trend which became popular in November 2016, in which people remain frozen in action like mannequins while a moving camera films them, often with the song “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd playing in the background. What made this challenge unique was that it was adopted by some prominent professional athletes and teams, such as NBA star Steph Curry, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, Anaheim Ducks, and the Portugal National Football team.
6. Running Man
This challenge was created in January 2016 by New Jersey high school students Kevin Vincent and Jeremiah Hall. It really took off later that spring, when University of Maryland basketball players Jared Nickens and Jaylen Brantley decided to do the running man to the 1996 Ghost Town DJs song “My Boo” and post it to Instagram.
Planking is an activity consisting of lying in prone position (face down), sometimes in an unusual or incongruous location. The palms of the hands are typically touching the sides of the body and the toes are typically touching the ground. Social media became flooded with people doing planks in all kinds of locations. Eventually, planking became the Planking Challenge, where people would make planking part of their workouts. The website health.com has an entire planking challenge workout you can use.
4. Try Not to Laugh
This challenge is exactly like it sounds. People go to great lengths to get people to laugh – animal escapades, magic tricks, and water pranks being the most popular. You can find versions of this challenge on several platforms – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Some of the videos are more than 10 minutes long – a really long time to try not to laugh with a constant stream of antics being thrown at you.
3. Eat It or Wear It
This is a challenge that can be constructed in an unlimited number of ways. A person is given a choice of food items and is told they can “eat it or wear it.” The hope is that the person will find an item so unappetizing that they are willing to have the food thrown at or dumped on them. It is also hoped that the food the person chooses to “wear” is also extremely messy. The ultimate goal is to make a video that people will share with all their friends because it is so funny.
This is a challenge with an element of danger. The objective of the challenge is to film oneself eating a spoonful of ground cinnamon in under 60 seconds without drinking anything, then upload the video to the Internet. It is risky because cinnamon coats and dries the mouth and throat, resulting in coughing, gagging, vomiting, and inhaling of cinnamon. This can lead to throat irritation, breathing difficulties, and risk of pneumonia or a collapsed lung.
1. Hot Pepper
Another challenge that has danger involved, the hot pepper challenge involves filming oneself while eating and swallowing a chili pepper that is high on the Scoville scale (the “rating system” for the heat level in peppers) and known for its spicy-hot qualities, in particular the cayenne pepper, Thai pepper, habanero, ghost pepper, and the Trinidad moruga scorpion pepper. While peppers are not toxic, if you have an allergy, you could suffer serious health issues from consuming them. This challenge has resulted in some health scares, mostly with people who did not know they were allergic to the peppers.
Whether it’s a simple test among a couple or group of friends, or a game that gets spread across the globe, the social media challenge is a phenomenon that appears to be here to stay. New challenges emerge on a regular basis. Some are harmless fun; some are downright dangerous. If you like a good challenge, there should always be one handy or on the way to speak to you. We hope you enjoyed this look at some of the greatest social media challenges.