Top 10 of the worst things that trended in the past which were completely stupid. Twerking, duckface, planking... just to name a few.
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People are naturally prone to following the actions and directions of the mass populous. Our intrigue and curiosity about certain things stems solely from the interest in that thing by others. It’s why we tend to be drawn to groups of people when they’re clustered, seemingly at random. What, we wonder, has caused them to collectively gather, figuring that something which fascinates others and prompts a crowd to form may well be of interest to us as well.
Trends, at their basic core, make sense. All people may be different in their own way, but there are certainly common things that interest, motivate and captivate the vast majority of us. Therefore, it’s only natural that we would flock to certain broad trends, both in order to experience something that appeals to others and could appeal to us (such as a popular new restaurant) and to fulfill our innate need to achieve a sense of belonging (such as wearing the same clothing brand as friends/coworkers/models/peers).
But that doesn’t mean that all trends make sense. Particularly among teens and other youths, who are especially susceptible to peer pressure and fads, trends often have something of an envelope-pushing nature to them. In spite of the familiar rant of “these kids today…” that has practically become a cliché, every generation of teens has established and followed their own set of ill-advised, yet undeniably popular, stupid stunts, games and challenges. Toss in the added dimension of social media and YouTube enabling these things to go viral and there is a much wider scope to these trends than there ever has been before.
In addition to the broadened reach of popular trends in the smartphone and digital media era, it certainly seems as though thrill-seeking interests have pushed fads into a risky, dangerous direction that hadn’t previously existed. Where head-scratching trends from other eras, including pogs and pet rocks, were stupid but harmless, the 21st century has produced a scary new slate of pointlessly hazardous crazes that, in some cases, have even produced a body count. Not every entry on this list carries dire consequences, but some of these trends have the occasionally-realized potential of going very, very wrong.
Years from now, this list could look very different. As long as kids with under-developed pre-frontal cortexes and senses of immortality exist, there will be the rebellious temptation to push boundaries and take risks for risk’s sake. Accordingly, there will always be leaders charging head-first into these dumb activities and those crumbling under the weight of the social pressure to follow along.
There are some lessons to be learned here, including the fact that the internet is forever, alcohol should be consumed by using your mouth, private parts don’t need any accessories, cinnamon should be used as a seasoning and pants are to be worn around your waist. Above all, though, in the proud tradition of “if they jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?”, it’s always best to think about what you’re doing rather than mindlessly following along because others are doing it.
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