Social Media ‘Challenges’

By: Paige Sander

The most recent trend sweeping the nation, is the #MannequinChallenge. I’m sure everyone has seen it; a group of people stands completely still while Rae Sremmurd plays in the background. And like every other challenge on Twitter, it starts to lose its effect after the first 4 million videos. Despite my quick decline in interest for a particular challenge, the actual concept of these viral trends fascinates me. The fact that one person can post a video with a hashtag and millions of others will follow with exact replicas, sums up the power of social media.

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It’s also people’s creativity that keeps these trends alive. The videos that are derivatives of the challenge are the most entertaining, like when people started having all dog mannequin challenges or winning sports teams stood perfectly still after a victory. Businesses have begun doing team mannequin challenges for corporate pages and performers are having their audiences stand still for an epic Twitter video. There are 1.3 million videos on Instagram using the hashtag and even more on Twitter and Facebook.

Like the Mannequin Challenge, many others have surfaced throughout the history of Twitter. The Ice Bucket Challenge was one of the most popular trending activities, but ironically caused some stir because of its actual purpose. This was meant to raise awareness and money for a rare condition and although many argued that people were only doing it for the hashtag, the organization raised record-breaking amounts of money. This just proves that social media and creativity are amazing tools for cause-related marketing.

Other ‘challenges’ on the internet just simply perplex me, like the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge that encouraged girls to inflict painful suction on the face in order to resemble the reality star. It resulted in dangerous injuries and prolonged swelling of the lips. The Planking Challenge shared similarities in danger and even resulted in multiple deaths. And then there are hashtags like #ThickAsHellChallenge where girls are literally just encouraged to post pictures if they’re considered curvy. This is not a ‘challenge’, this is simply the way one looks, but still if you look up this hashtag you’ll find thousands of posts from around the country.

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These silly trends will continue to surface on social media for as long as it’s around, but I am so curious to see what Twitter will come up with.

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism