Social media trends humanely challenged

Chadwick Harrell

The social media challenge: It’s the latest trend to bring out the senselessness of the human race. 

Adults, children and celebrities have flocked to their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts to show the world exactly how courageous they are. They perform these dangerous and sometimes life-threatening challenges all in the name of humor.

Let’s take a step back for a moment to a time when this tidal wave of foolishness started. 

Believe it or not, this whole thing started as a way to raise donations and awareness for the search for a cure to a horrible disease that currently has no treatment or cure. 

The ALS ice bucket challenge was started by the Muscular Dystrophy Association to aid in the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other muscular diseases that currently affect millions of people worldwide. 

Sounds like a noble cause, right? 

It’s become quite popular, attracting the attention of Hollywood stars and officials in Washington, D.C. Behind this star power is serious money, too. 

The ice bucket challenge is responsible for raising over one hundred million dollars for MDA.

So, where exactly could this genius plan have possibly backfired on us when it’s done so much good? 

Well, here is where human ingenuity comes into place and fails miserably. With the good always comes the bad. 

When dealing with the brilliance of the human mind coupled with the numbness caused by too much exposure to social media, the results are scary. From this matrimony, three children were born: the salt and ice challenge, the pass out challenge and a true beauty: the fire challenge.

So, what is the fire challenge? The fire challenge requires a seemingly sane person to apply rubbing alcohol or regular old vodka—whatever is handy—on his or her chest and set it ablaze. 

The object of this is for the person to withstand the pain of a literally burning chest as long as possible before putting the fire out.

 The pass out challenge is a real gem. This baby asks that you call on a buddy to help you out, because there is nothing like letting your best friend put you in a chokehold until you pass out to help build a stronger sense of camaraderie. 

The mixture of ice and salt seems harmless, and it is until it comes into contact with human skin. 

When combined with salt, ice actually becomes colder than the normal freezing temperature for water and exposes the body to extreme cold. This has caused second- and third-degree burns on participants as young as 12 years old. 

And for you adrenaline junkies out there, it could actually lead to amputation.

Obviously these challenges are a little too dangerous to be used as marketing for any organization. The legal cost alone would bankrupt Bill Gates if he’d tried to use them as such. 

So if they’re not being used to raise money for a charitable endeavor to raise awareness about a serious disease or to show some terrible plight in our society, why are they being done? 

It may be that we have allowed something that was supposed to be a fleeting moment of charity to become an epidemic of stupidity.

But really the only answer can be that we as humans love to do crazy, stupid things to be “Insta famous.”