What Does the Tide Pod Challenge Say About Today’s Youth?

One of the more unexpected aspects of the internet is the way it can make people famous overnight. Often for reasons that would cause most people to feel ashamed. The net is also notable for helping to start a number of trends. You probably remember the Ice Bucket Challenge, which was created to promote a worthy cause. On the other end of the scale were teens lighting themselves on fire because…well, for no sensible reason at all.

That level of inexplicable mass stupidity returned recently via the new trend of trying to eat Tide Pods. As mentioned in the report above, one can understand parents worrying that toddlers might ingest this detergent, given how it looks like candy. But teenagers?

What is the reasoning behind the so-called Tide Pod Challenge? The need to be liked, the desire for instant fame, the potentially deadly dangers of feeling bored and unfulfilled? Thinking back to my own teen years, yes, I did a number of dumb things, but no matter what shape I was in at the time, I made sure they would not cause me permanent damage.

Last year in the United States, there were over 12,000 poison control emergency calls due to people eating laundry pods. The vast majority of those calls were due to little children having access to them. With the new internet trend of 2018, one suspects that both the number and the affected age will be higher, despite ample evidence of how dangerous and stupid this is.

Even if you are certain your teen is not the sort of drooling moron who would intentionally put laundry detergent into their mouth, it’s worth having a talk with them. Emphasize that doing something for attention or on a dare may seem like fun at the time, but it’s important to remember the potential consequences. They have a bright future ahead and should never risk it for a few fleeting thrills.