Viral Video Challenges Affect Teens

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Maia Adeoye, Staff

Challenges are all over the internet, enticing teens to do all sorts of crazy things for a laugh. Some of the internet’s most beloved videos and pictures are of challenges.  

“Challenges are super fun! My friends and I do them all the time,” sophomore Samantha Ferguson elaborated. 

Challenges at first started off as sleepover games, things that made good dares when playing truth or dare. When teens started getting more into social media and phones became attached to every teens’ hand, these “OMG!” moments started to go viral.  

Everyone loves watching videos of people doing challenges and laughing at their fails, but their viral nature causes more and more teens to take the risk. 

“What can I say? It’s hilarious watching people fail,” sophomore Brianna Gather remarked. 

The Chubby Bunny Challenge 

About seven years ago, the “Chubby Bunny” challenge became very big. Teens and children were stuffing marshmallows in their mouths and trying to say this simple phrase. In 1999, 12-year-old Catherine Fish died after choking on a marshmallow while doing the chubby bunny challenge at a school event. Her death was all over the media and parents were terrified. Though it was soon forgotten, and teens were playing with marshmallows once again. 

The Bird Box Challenge 

Just this year, the Netflix original “Bird Box” sparked the birth of a challenge by the same name. The challenge rules that the participants blindfold themselves and do about everyday functions. On January 12, 2019, a 17-year- old teenage girl in Layton, Utah crashed into another car. The girl had a beanie over her eyes and hit a light pole and sound barrier. Luckily, everyone involved was unharmed, but the incident caused Netflix to explain to its users again to not recreate the events in Bird Box. 

“I tried the Bird Box challenge but got too scared to walk outside blindfolded. I could have walked into the street,” sophomore Josh Holtzapple added. 

The Cinnamon Challenge 

The Cinnamon challenge took off in 2007 after the then 6-year-old challenge was revived on Reddit. The challenge of eating a spoonful of cinnamon in under a minute without drinking anything quickly sparked controversy with parents very quickly as teens and children “failed” at doing the challengeIn 2015, 4-year-old Matthew Radar died after choking on cinnamon while doing the challenge with his parents in their Kentucky home. His death sparked a social media uproar as his grieving mother pleaded with kids to stop.  

 Each time we watch these videos and they get more and more views, they become famous and go viral. Teens are driven by the idea of being famous and successful as well as impressing their peers. 

“I have a Youtube channel, so I’ve done a few of these challenges before. I didn’t know they were dangerous. I just knew that they were popular,” sophomore Fuwaiz Khan declared. 

Challenges have enabled dangerous thinking, risk taking and allowed for already insecure teens to be influenced more than ever before.