By Kendall Howze
From the cinnamon challenge to the ghost pepper challenge, dangerous trends just seem to keep coming back in new and stupid forms. The latest trend is perhaps the worst and most blatantly dangerous. The Tide Pod challenge involves people biting into laundry detergent pods as a part of a “funny trend.” Yes, people are eating detergent for fun.
The Tide Pod obsession began with an article published by The Onion titled “So Help Me God, I’m Going To Eat One Of Those Multi Colored Detergent Pods.” The article is written from the point of view of a toddler who strives to eat everything his parents have kept out of his reach. The article is meant to be a joke regarding the curiosity of a growing toddler. As you can probably guess, the child is determined to eat a Tide Pod. While the child never seems to actually eat the detergent, jokes about doing so began to surface on social media, becoming a meme. Yes, eating detergent is now a meme. They are now often referred to as “the forbidden fruit” featured in social media posts.
While in the past these dangerous challenges were only popular for a short amount of time, the Tide Pod Challenge has gotten out of control. Initially, people were only pretending to eat tide pods in their challenge videos. Many people, however, did not seem to get the message that people were only pretending to eat tide pods and actually began to eat tide pods. Below that warning is a picture of a child grabbing a tide pod. Because presumably, the concern is that a child may attempt to eat a tide pod because they don’t know any better. Adults, however, should already be aware that tide pods “may be harmful if swallowed.” Just in case a child did in fact eat a tide pod, the number to the Poison Control Center is mentioned, with the direction to “seek medical attention.” Seems safe enough, right? You wouldn’t think that in 2018, adults need to be told not to eat poisonous laundry detergent. Unfortunately, you would be wrong.
Senior and Glenelg student AJ Patel gives people the benefit of the doubt, saying that “I think it’s funny, but I don’t think people actually eat them.” He can often be found carrying around a bag full of tide pods as a joke. He, however, knows better than to eat them. “Even though I’m not planning on eating them I still have some pods because they’re fun to play with and watch what other people do with them.” Thankfully, no one has used his Tide Pods to complete the challenge. Hopefully, AJ’s assumptions are correct and Glenelg students are not participating in the internet trend because sure, it may seem funny at the time, but will it still be funny while you’re at the hospital?
Many not only find the Tide Pod Challenge dangerous, but offensive. Many have used forms of bleach or detergent to inflict self harm. The new internet trend is insensitive and thoughtless. Glenelg Senior Imani Nokuri said, “Because I know many people who have tried to take their own life with types of detergents and tide pods, I believe that it is insensitive to people who are suicidal to take and eat these tide pods for social gain.” Nothing good can come from eating tide pods. It’s not cool, it’s not funny, and quite frankly, it’s fairly disgusting to watch. Please, for the sake of the internet, move onto the next trend.