Social media challenges. The latest trend has teens ingesting Tide Pods, despite health risks.


Online challenges have been around for quite sometime. They range from striking a certain pose to eating a tablespoon of cinnamon. The newest one is the Tide Pod Challenge – based on the popular memes of eating Tide Pods, teens are now taking them seriously and filming themselves eating the laundry detergent pods.

YouTube recently announced that it will be removing videos of teens eating the pods. However, are there that many teens actually participating in this dangerous Tide Pod Challenge, among others, and threatening their health for a viral moment?

We, the staff, believe that teens are not genuinely participating in these online challenges.

Although taking part in the challenges does pose a threat to foolish teens, the fact of the matter is is that not many are actually doing it. Of the teenage population interested in Tide Pods memes, only a miniscule fraction are actually filming themselves ingesting the laundry detergent.

Dismissing all teenagers as unintelligent, Tide Pod-eating humans is unfair and a disservice to them. Of course, there are the teenagers that lack the common sense to decide against taking a crude meme seriously and eating laundry detergent, however, many teenagers do not do this and do not participate in dangerous online challenges like the Tide Pod challenges.

We need to start giving adolescents more credit. There are plenty of safe, funny online challenges that kids take part in instead.
For instance, there’s the ALS ice bucket challenge from several summers ago that plenty of adults, children, and especially teenagers helped go viral. These positive online challenges help make an important difference in the world, all with the help of teens.

Although teenagers’ brains are not yet fully developed, there are plenty of mature teens that are capable of laughing at the popular Tide Pods meme without actually taking part in the challenge.

It’s time that health officials open their eyes and see this, too. Just because there are a few bad apples in the bunch doesn’t mean that all teenagers are facing peer pressure to eat Tide Pods. Not every young adult is willing to compromise their health for five seconds of fame on the Internet.

Yes, eating Tide Pods is incredibly dangerous, and the education on the dangers of them certainly matters. There are still plenty of people that are at risk of eating Tide Pods, especially children.

However, we believe that there are bigger fish for health officials to fry when it comes to the health of teenagers. Perhaps, instead of worrying that every young person is eating Tide Pods or trying to get high off of laxatives, maybe we should worry about bigger issues first – like the mental health crisis currently facing teens, or the recent influx of people that have died as a result of the nasty flu season.