Viral Trends Gone Too Far

Murray, NEB- Nowadays, everyone is on a form of social media platform whether its Facebook or Instagram. If you consume media on a regular basis you will notice the new trends that pop up every few weeks. Trends vary in topic, some consisting of fashion, pranks, fun challenges and even more. At first glance, these trends are harmless, but take a deeper look and you will find trends that may have just gone too far.

Recent trends that have been brought up have involved school in some way. Tik Tok is known for coming up with the majority of the popular trends and sometimes these trends go downhill. An example of this was Dec. 17, 2021, which became known as National School Shooting Day on Tik Tok. What started out as creators on the app telling others to stay home from schools where threats of a shooting had been made quickly turned into more people threatening schools all over the United States. Creators, popular or not, began to publicly post threats of shootings and bombings towards their own school and others. These threats were able to spread at an extremely rapid pace due to the strange algorithm of the app. Many schools in D.C. and California had to stay closed for Dec. 17 for safety precautions.

Another side of popular trends is pranks. Pranks are popular due to not only the comedic aspect of them, but also the suspense that comes with the reactions. A prank known as the Jump Trick was trending towards the beginning of 2020 and faded out as it became more dangerous. This trick consisted of a one person telling their friend to jump while they purposely take their legs out from under them. This seems like a simple joke and could be in some situations, but it resulted in many injuries. In a few severe cases, death was even a result of this prank. When a trending prank that includes a possible chance of injury it is important to inform the “unsuspecting” person of what is going on. Unfortunately, the whole point of this trend was to be completely real and to catch someone completely off guard. The severe amount of injuries caused by this Jump Trick prank led to it ultimately drifting off and losing popularity.

There have been many occasions where this trend has regained popularity amongst people on Facebook. Some people strictly share photos of themselves, family and friends and others share trendy posts from other profiles. A common post to find on any account is “Tell me about yourself.” These posts often include information that could be harmless, but also be potentially helpful to someone seeking to hack any of your accounts or use your information. It is important to beware of what is publicly shared on your account because just about anyone can view it. These kinds of posts going viral on Facebook led to an increase in Facebook accounts that were being hacked and misused.

Trends may be fun to watch and even participate in, but under rare circumstances “simple” trends can quickly go downhill. Social media allows information to spread in a matter of minutes which is the cause of many trends going too far. This means it is extremely important to be careful with what you post and what you participate for safety of yourself and others.