If you’ve been anywhere on the internet you’ve most likely seen it. The Tide Pod Challenge has plagued our news outlets and social media. The challenge started with an internet meme emerging in late December 2017, daring people to eat the laundry detergent pods. Since then teens have been video taping themselves eating or biting into Tide Pods despite the clear cut health hazards.
Tide Pods are obviously not meant to be consumed, therefore, the effects of eating one could send you to the hospital. Sorry to break the news, but Tide Pods are not filled with gooey deliciousness. Thanks to the harmful chemicals, Tide Pods have an extremely bitter taste that cause most people to vomit. However, some people have managed to swallow the detergent which is where the major problems arise. When swallowed the detergent will burn the esophagus and stomach, causing gastrointestinal problems. So why in the world would you want to eat Tide Pods? Sophomore, Sydney Dodson thinks it’s a matter of popularity on social media.
“Some people think that stuff like that is funny so they get more views and likes. People will do whatever they need to do in order to appeal to other peoples laughter on social media, even if that means chewing on a Tide Pod,” said Dodson.
Although this is happening on social media, the “Tide Pod Challenge” started with an internet meme. Memes are humorous pictures or videos that spread rapidly throughout the internet, not all memes are fun and games. To some, memes including the “Tide Pod Challenge” are extremely offensive. Sophomore, Jakob Conrad, explain the “Tide Pod Challenge’s” popularity.
“The Tide Pod popularity comes a lot from the relatable nature of a lot of internet meme culture: ironic, depressed, and nihilistic. You can hear it all over Lake Ridge, people saying ,”Wow I wanna die” after even the most minor inconveniences. The Tide Pod challenge is just another way of expressing that ‘relatable’ way of thinking,” said Conrad.
According to a 2018 January CNN article, there has been a spike in poison control calls although no deaths have been reported to be related to the “Tide Pod Challenge.” However the “Tide Pod Challenge” is covering up a real problem. Adults with dementia and toddlers have been mistaking the laundry detergent pods for candy, but Tide Pods are still seen as a joke. To date, two children and six adults have died from eating Tide Pods. Sophomore, Nick Grenier, thinks this problem needs to be fixed soon.
“I feel like the meme has made the real problem less serious. The actual problem is becoming more of a joke. Now people will read about adults dying from Tide Pods and laugh. I’m not too sure on how they can fix this, but it is definitely a problem,” said Grenier.
The “Tide Pod Challenge” is no laughing matter. To some it may be all fun and games, but for others, the consequences are all too real.