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Are Viral Challenges Overdone?

John Cacciatore

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What is the best “challenge” on social media? Recently the mannequin challenge has taken the internet by storm, but has it been over done? Yes; quite frankly, I find it stupid and pointless. Everyone is attempting it, from classes to gymnasts to swimmers to weightlifters to grandmas.

These internet challenges have a fairly long history. The first one that I can remember is the cinnamon challenge back in 2012. Only those who were worthy could eat a teaspoon of cinnamon without spitting it out or choking half to death. Challenges such as the ALS ice bucket, Disney Character, and countless others similarly became trendy. 2016 alone has presented the water bottle flip, no hands, running man, #sogone, and “huh” challenges.

Despite this, the most favored of the year seems to have been the mannequin challenge. After a certain point though, it gets to be a little much. Every social media feed has been filled with videos of people doing their best interpretation, hoping theirs would go viral. What’s the point of all of it though? To get fifteen minutes of fame? I suppose it can be fun to do something wacky with your friends and it may be exciting to be recognized by thousands, sometimes millions, of people, but your life probably won’t drastically change as a result. After a couple weeks at most, everything would return to normal. Sure, there may be a few random faces saying, “Hey, I know you,” but other than that, nothing truly changes.

After seeing a couple hundred attempts, all of the mannequin challenges seem the same. It quickly becomes annoying. Following this comes feelings of questioning. Mainly it is questioning what people are doing with their lives and what this world has come to. I’m not the only one who thinks this either. Sara Shamlin (12) believes the mannequin challenge is, “overdone.” Similarly, Sheridan Ecker (12) and Ashley Basford, “think it’s pretty dumb,” especially after the first few days. However, others feel like John Kraus (11), who “doesn’t care.”

That’s a very sensible opinion, though. The mannequin challenge is not hurting anyone and can be scrolled passed if you really do not want to see it. Besides, everyone’s thumbs could use a little more exercise. However, if even that is too much work there’s one other way to stop seeing the mannequin challenge. The solution is simply turning off your phone or computer and doing something productive without recording it or posting it to social media.  Maybe that can be the next “challenge.” Then again, if something happens and it is not online, did it really happen?

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