For most students, doing laundry is a chore. For others, laundry is a breakthrough challenge; a challenge that beats both cinnamon and Kylie Jenner’s lip challenge. You can eat tide laundry pods in exchange for spewing soup bubbles in your mouth and likes on social media as part of the “Tide Pod Challenge.” Challenge accepted?
Like most of these challenges, the new “Tide Pod Challenge” is both ludicrous and dangerous. According to a report from The Washington Post, consuming tide pods can lead to a variety of health risks like vomiting, breathing difficulties and even death. The United States Poison Control reported that “10,500 children younger than 6 were exposed to the capsules,” and 220 teens were exposed in 2016. The alarming 37 percent of teen cases this year were reported intentional.
We have to wonder where these crazy ideas for challenges come from. More importantly, why these people are voluntarily choosing to take them on with stride. Students at Montclair State University expressed their disdain for the fad.
“It’s the most ridiculous thing ever,” said freshman Matthew Olson. “I didn’t know it was real until I saw the videos.”
Maya Joyner, also a freshman, had licked a tide pod on a dare herself and shared her experience.
“It was disgusting,” Joyner said. “I would never actually eat one.”
Given all the health risks, students are probably doing it for similar reasons as previous challenges.
Outlandish videos of people doing dangerous things are often popular on YouTube. Since they can be so receptive, the videos can generate a lot of views, shares and sometimes even likes. The website is known to pay YouTubers by views per video. So, there is a possibility that students are ingesting the laundry detergents in exchange for payouts from YouTube. Maybe it could be a way to make some extra money for school.
However, if that is the case, the website is reinforcing a bad and dangerous idea. We all struggle to pay our tuition loans, but it is not necessary to eat laundry pods just to get attention, a small pay-out and sickness.
Senior Monica Figueras shared her thoughts on social media’s negative influence.
“I’m disappointed on how in today’s society, anyone is willing to do anything for likes and views, even if it means risking their life,” Figueras said. “Everyone think it’s all fun and games, but in reality it’s just pure stupid.”