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MOLLYWOOD BLVD: Changing of the Tide (Pods) – A Look at the Internet Challenges that Should Have Never Happened

March 1, 2018

Ever notice the wild, unfiltered side of your friends and fellow citizens exposed on social media?

People engaging in fights and conversations they would probably never have in person, often with complete strangers, The internet is wrought with “trolls,” of which I am one. It’s like Facebook gives some form of “liquid courage” often bringing out the worst in society. It has been this way for a while now, but the stupidity seems especially rampant as of late.

Cheap entertainment for sure, but at some point, we need to not encourage this sort of thing. Beyond arguing with complete strangers, the advent of the internet has really unearthed an entire new class of morons and challenges that can teeter on dangerous.

The internet just might kill us. Our youth anyway. We are all privy to doing stupid things as kids. Nationwide trends and themes in childhood have existed for eons. Who didn’t line up in a row on the ground and let their friends jump over them on bicycles, suck helium from balloons and talk like chipmunks, give each other space monkeys (basically choking your friend out until they faint), or have contests at the pool of who could hold their breath underwater the longest? We are all guilty.

But the onset of this new digital age has really upped the ante for stupid challenges. There is just a larger than ever audience. And it is all to get that extra like or follow on social media, or see your video go “viral.” Now, there are some great trends social media that don’t cause physical harm. It was annoying, but the Harlem Shake was pretty harmless. Challenges too, from the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, the saltine cracker or the Mannequin Challenge proved to be innocent and fun. The ALS Ice Bucket challenge was actually a great way to raise money and awareness for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). But let’s look some of the challenges that should never have happened:


This might be a little ancient for some of you readers, but it happened. Thank YouTube for this one. Sometime in the mid-aughts, there was a phenomenon called Ghost Riding the Whip. It was the act of putting your ride in neutral, opening all doors, cranking your radio dial up to 10 and simply rolling.

Many, however, took it to a new level, and actually exited his or her ride, and danced around the car in an extremely careless “Chinese fire drill,” hung feet first out the window, or climbed on top of the vehicle and literally rode it, while the car was still driving itself. Many of these videos ended up in epic FAILS, in which the car was totaled. If you don’t believe me, just type: “ghost ride the whip fail” into your YouTube search bar. It’s also a catchy song by Soulja Boy.


This one has been around since the early 2000s, but spiked in popularity in 2012. Basically, the objective is to film yourself eating a spoonful of ground cinnamon in under a minute without drinking anything. Then you upload the video, and the internet community inevitably laughed at you, because there is literally no way to eat a spoonful of cinnamon without coughing, gagging, inhaling and basically choking on cinnamon and even vomiting.

Unfortunately, for some of the stupid participants of this challenge, it lead to pneumonia and collapsed lungs. They aired an episode on season 12 of Big Brother in which the cast tried this and gagged on cinnamon for a national audience. If it was on Big Brother, it has to be bad. Don’t try this at home, kids.


So, remember how the youngest Kardashian sister, reality star Kylie Jenner, went from having no lips, to huge voluptuous lips seemingly overnight? She had lip injections. Selfies posted to her Instagram account showed a whole new look, and people created the #kyliejennerlipchallenge to hop on board and “be like Kylie.” This was back in 2015.

Teenagers would insert their lips into a shot glass, small jar or bottle, then suck out the air, creating a vacuum. The hope is they would end up with pouty lips like Kylie. Basically the blood rushes into your lips and puffs them up, but there were multiple accounts of this going wrong, causing bruising, soreness and sometimes even open skin. I personally know of someone locally who had to go to the hospital and have her lips drained. No thanks.


The Hot Water Challenge was also inspired by YouTube videos. It involves pouring boiling water on an unsuspecting friend. In one instance, this stupid challenge turned fatal, when a friend was dared to drink boiling water through a straw. I won’t elaborate. Just … don’t do it.


I hate to admit it, but with some of these challenges, I find myself scoffing, “Psh, I could do that.” OK, so here are the Milk Challenge rules: You have one hour to drink a gallon of milk. Type of milk is your choice, 2 percent, skim, Vitamin D. (I’d go with skim, personally). You can try to drink it all at once or pace yourself.

People typically pair this one with a be t… a bet that the participant will surely lose, because you literally cannot do it without puking.


Finally, the challenge that has taken Social Media by storm as of late is the Tide Pod Challenge in which teens are daring each other to eat tide pods without throwing up. Tide pods are a rather new detergent phenomenon, and yes, the blue and orange pods do look a little bit like candy. But clearly they are not for human consumption.

I had to have a conversation with my 10 and 13 year old children about not jumping on this bandwagon and it was a low point in my parenting. I did not think they would actually partake, but they are active on social media, so better safe than sorry, right? I mean, are people really this dumb? I don’t know, maybe the Tide Pod Challenge is just detergent for the gene pool, so to speak.


By Molly Penny

SouthernMinn Scene | |
115 5th Street West Northfield, MN 55057