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Challenge accepted?

Challenge accepted?

Ever wondered if an image of a grocery item, could go viral on social media? Such is the power of the digital space that a photo of an egg became the most-liked photo on Instagram last year after Chris Godfrey took it up as a challenge. In an attempt to beat celebrity Kylie Jenner’s most-liked photo of her daughter Stormi Webster, Godfrey uploaded the photo of the egg from the handle, ‘world_record_egg’. Within a few days, the photo surpassed Jenner’s photo and created the record that it had intended to create. With 54.2 million likes on Instagram, the ‘egg’, till date, is not under any pressure and has shown no signs of cracking.

As bizarre as it sounds, this happened for real. And if you are familiar with social networking sites, you would know that there’s no dearth of such viral trends, memes or challenges that have gripped one and all, at some point or the other. To those familiar, this read will highlight the challenges that broke the internet last year and the ones that are gaining momentum at the beginning of 2020. While you go through the list, don’t do something foolish in order to be a part of the ‘trend’. Not all social media challenges have a happy ending and at times, a better sense prevails in observing others rather than getting in the mix.

Bottle Cap challenge
From spinning the bottle to flipping the bottle in an attempt to land it upright on the table, the bottle has been used for several challenges in the past. The latest addition being, the Bottle Cap Challenge. The inception of the trend is credited to Taekwondo fighter and instructor Farabi Davletchin. With American mixed-martial artist Max Holloway and musician John Mayer sharing their versions of the challenge, it soon spread like wildfire. The task is to place a bottle with the cap loosely fixed. The person then has to displace the cap with a roundhouse kick.

Bird Box challenge
Starring Sandra Bullock, the film Bird Box was released on Netflix in the last week of December 2018. While the film-makers were content with the fact that the movie was well received by the global audience, what they weren’t anticipating was that the plot of the movie would trigger a viral challenge. In the movie, the characters had to use a blindfold before stepping out as an invisible entity had the power to possess humans and force them to take their lives. While the movie dealt with several twists and turns, a surprising tale of events unfolded for its creators and Netflix. In the first week on January 2019, the challenge went viral as netizens started using blindfolds and recorded their daily activities indoors. Obviously, there were many unwanted incidents as the challenge had high risks involved. Netflix issued a warning, requesting people not to take part in such challenges, keeping in mind the safety of the people.

Celebrations/Dance Moves
On-field celebrations from sportspersons as well as dance moves from games such as Fortnite and PUBG or movies and videos have become a rage among the millennials. Floss dance, Harlem Shake, Mannequin Challenge or the Kiki Challenge had everyone grooving in some way or the other. While English footballer Dele Alli revealed a unique celebration using his fingers a couple of years ago, it was the celebration from American soccer player Alex Morgan that went viral and drew mixed reactions on social media. The 30-year-old scored a goal against England in the semis of the World Cup and celebrated by pretending to sip tea from a cup. While some saw it as a dig at English players, some felt that it had a deeper connection as the celebration came on July 2nd, two days before USA’s independence from British rule. Therefore, a tribute to the Boston Tea Party that laid the foundation of the revolution. Either way, the internet was divided but couldn’t stop talking about the celebration from Morgan. 

10-Year challenge
Those who are obsessed with appearances had a field day thanks to The 10-Year Challenge or 2009 vs 2019 Challenge. Take a photo of yours from 2009 and juxtapose it with that of 2019. Now, compare the two and see how you transformed or how you hardly changed. The social space was flooded with memes as the throwback photos triggered all sorts of reactions. Some celebs went on to take the 19-Year or 20 Year Challenge, because they could as ageing had no effect on them! American actor Nick Cannon took the 19-Year Challenge while author-model Padma Lakshmi shared how she hadn’t changed over the last two decades. Like any other trend, this one also drew negative feedback as theories started floating that sharing one’s data and time-coded images would assist artificial intelligence (AI) and facial recognition software, which could lead to a privacy breach.

Old Age challenge
Age is just a number, they say. But in reality, age or ageing is something that impacts everyone in some way or the other. So, another challenge was born and this time it was through an application, FaceApp, which allowed its users to choose a photo and make it look decades older or younger. The curiosity of how would it impact me, helped the trend gain momentum. Some of the celebs who took part include Kevin Hart, Gordon Ramsay, Drake, Ludacris and the Jonas Brothers, among others.

Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Tinder challenge
Nowadays, very rarely you’ll find someone limited to just one or two social networking sites. On the contrary, some would have a never-ending list of applications including the must-haves such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, among others. Singer Dolly Parton is to be credited with this trend where she used different display pictures of hers for four different platforms — a professional appearance for LinkedIn, a casual look for Facebook, a dress to impress approach for Instagram and a seductive version for dating apps.

Sahil Magoo

Sahil Magoo

Sahil is the Editor of the magazine. He completed his master's in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong and has worked with several media houses. He is passionate about cricket and loves to travel whenever he gets the chance to do so.