The internet has brought us many things, from Google and Facebook to online shopping and piracy. It has expanded our horizons and enabled us to do things we never thought possible. The internet is an amazing tool for us modern humans, but it can also be a powerful monster.
Crazes have existed for decades but the internet has taken them to a new level. A craze can go viral within a matter of minutes. It’s sometimes very difficult to understand why some crazes take off in the first place because they seem so pointless.
As well as having a little giggle about some of the silly things people have done over the last few years, we should also take a moment to consider how these popular activities might reflect on our society. If someone is looking back on our legacy in 50 years time, what might they make of these weird and wonderful internet crazes? Here are 14 strange and sensational internet crazes and what they say about us.
Selfies are possibly the biggest craze of the decade. They make taking tons of pictures of your face totally acceptable, even if it is extremely vein. Selfies suggest that as a society we are a little self obsessed. There’s also so much pressure to look beautiful these days. I think a lot of people take selfies because they want to feel better about themselves.
Although taking selfies still appears to be the thing to do at the moment, I suspect in a year or two (or maybe sooner) they will be frowned upon. I have to admit I am a victim of this craze, I have taken my fair share of selfies. The truth is it’s addictive, and you shouldn’t need to take endless pictures of your face and body to feel good about yourself. I guess we need to learn to feel confident about ourselves without the need to take a selfie (and post it all over social media, impatiently waiting by our phones to see how many likes we get).
2. Planking [plus Tombstoning and Happy Slapping]
This craze began in around 2009 in the UK. ‘Planking’ involves lying face down in an unusual place. People have taken planking pictures all around the world in some very extreme locations – on top of mountains, on public transport, on top of ridiculously tall buildings and in the street.
Planking in safe locations is absolutely fine, but this craze took a nasty turn when people started testing the limits and doing it in increasingly dangerous places. One man died after he tried to do a plank on his balcony in Australia and fell off and there were several other incidents. It seems some people are prepared to do potentially life threatening things just to get a shocked response on social media. Other similar crazes include tombstoning (jumping off cliffs) and happyslapping (slapping a friend on camera).
3. Ice bucket challenge
Originally called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, this craze started in July last year. It involved dumping a bucket filled with icy water on your head and then making a donation to charity. The charity this craze was promoting was Lou Gehrig’s Disease. In England however a lot of people donated to the Motor Neurone Disease Association. People do the challenge and post it on social media, nominating their friends to do it too.
Over 2.4 million tagged videos were posted on Facebook. This craze demonstrates how we can now use the internet to reach a mass worldwide audience, spreading the message about an important cause. It also shows how easily people will donate to a cause that is justified by social media. The only problem with this craze is that some people did the challenge and didn’t donate to charity, which makes it meaningless.
Another challenge where you nominate your friends, but this is another internet craze that went too far. Of course it’s fine for adults to drink one pint of an alcoholic drink in one gulp, all the name of a bit of fun.
However, problems occurred when people started increasing the amount they had to drink and consuming dangerous substances. The Metro reported that there were at least five deaths in the UK and Ireland that were linked to this craze. People are already too influenced by their friends, without the added pressure of having to step up to the plate on social media.
5. No makeup selfie
The no makeup selfie was a trend from last year where women took pictures of themselves with no make up on in order to raise money and create awareness of cancer.
The no make up selfie is almost the anti-selfie because instead of trying to look glamorous you show off your natural beauty. Getting hundreds of celebrities to take no make up selfies isn’t a bad thing, I am sure it made a lot of women realise that celebrities aren’t flawless either.
6. Kim Kardashian
OK so Kim K isn’t exactly a craze, she’s an internet sensation and the next generation of celebrity. She is literally all over the internet right now. What is she famous for exactly? Who knows. Perhaps it’s her ridiculously huge butt, which she used in her ‘break the internet Kim Kardashian’ campaign.
It could be partly because of her reality show, but it’s most likely her good looks. What does the fact that we idolise someone like Kim Kardashian (and all her ridiculously good looking sisters) over someone that has an actual talent or has done something admirable? Worrying…
7. Dog shaming
Dog shaming was a craze where people took pictures of their dogs doing naughty things and placed a note in the photo. The note, where their sins are confessed,would be supposedly written by the dog.
This simple craze produced hilarious, heartwarming and ridiculously cute results. It shows how much we love our pets and what we are willing to put up with.
However, it also humanises dogs a bit too much. People see these pictures and somehow think the dogs might understand. They don’t, they are just bored of having their picture taken.
8. Lip plumping challenge
Oh dear. For once in my life, I have no words. Not only are women (and men) having insane amounts of collagen pumped into their lips to make them bigger, now people are attempting to make their lips bigger by sucking into a glass.
This trend, which is popular right now is called ‘lip plumping’ or ‘The Kylie Jenner’ challenge. This craze, supposedly started by Kylie Jenner is definitely taking things too far. It’s ridiculous and utterly insane! Now thousands of young girls and boys are making their lips sore and bruised just to look like a celebrity.
9. Juice detox diets
Oh where do I begin with the juice detox diets. The Juice Plus obsession is a massive fad. Drinking only juice is not healthy and definitely not sustainable. It’s fine to have a few juice shakes, as long as you also eat a healthy, balanced diet.
What’s even more worrying about this craze is that a new trend has been born out of it. Now people actually think doing a ‘tea detox’ is safe and good for you. Quick fixes won’t help you maintain a healthy weight, eating the right foods in moderation will. Lots of people may disagree with me, but that’s just my opinion.
We have the lovely (not) Miley Cyrus to thank for this craze. Twerking went viral after Miley did it in one of her performances. Suddenly everyone felt the urge to get their twerk on.
The oxforddictionaries.com definition of twerking is ‘Dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance:’
This craze seems pretty tame but it probably encouraged a lot of young girls to dance in an inappropriate manner. One of Miley’s many achievements…