TikTok is a great platform for people to make creative (musical) videos in which they sing, lip-sync to various songs and dance to them. In the meantime, TikTok became one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the world with the majority of users being young people, including a lot of teenagers. The app has become so big you can find all kinds of content in it ranging from the initial “music” videos, to funny animal videos, make-up tutorials, etc. However, TikTok is also flushed by bizarre challenges and trends which can be very disturbing or even dangerous.
The Milk Crate Challenge
I first discovered this challenge through a video which was posted on Facebook, but taken from TikTok as it showed its label in the corner of the screen. In this clip, I saw a young man stacking milk crates to create a staircase, resembling a kind of pyramid. In this challenge, he tries to walk up the crates. However, as he takes a few step going higher in the stacks, the milk crates collapse and the young man falls down with his back hitting one of them. The video ends right after and I have no idea if he was injured or not.
Various TikTok content creators have joined this trend and tried it out for themselves. Most of them, as it seems, do not succeed. And some of them, have been hurt badly. Medical professionals have spoken out against this challenge, discouraging people from trying it, as it can cause severe injuries.
WARNING: this trend is extremely nasty!
This disturbing challenge involves two people. One person has to lie down on their back with their open, as if they were at the dentist. The other participant will fill up the mouth with milk and cereal, as if it was a bowl, and then proceed to eat out of there.
For your sanity, I am not going to post a video or picture of it, as it is incredibly disgusting, but you will probably find enough videos of this challenge on YouTube and TikTok itself if you are interested.
While nobody gets hurt from this, most agree that it is highly repulsive. It is truly puzzling why someone would come up with this idea and why some users chose to follow this nasty trend.
The Blackout Challenge
This challenge takes things to the extreme where it even becomes fatal. For this one, the user blocks their own airflow, whether it is by choking themselves or another method, until they become unconscious. The 10-year old Antonella Sicomero from Italy died while trying this challenge. After choking herself with a belt around her neck she passed out and was found by her family. When she arrived in the hospital she suffered a cardiac arrest and eventually lost her life. Antonella was not the only one who passed away due to this challenge. Deaths caused by the Blackout Challenge are reported for two other young children as well.
What makes TikTok Challenges so popular?
There are way more challenges on TikTok than those three which I have picked out. There are many harmless trends as well which are fun to watch, but at the same time there are too many dangerous fads as well. But what makes some challenges so popular and why do so many users participate even though they could end up in the hospital, like in the case of the Milk Crate Challenge?
Dr. Pamela Rutledge, a media psychologist, explains that the features and the way the TikTok app works have a great appeal on the users. The app offers “…a low barrier to entry, artistic control, the illusion of fame, and being part of something new and cool.” Because TikTok is already equipped with many editing tools it takes less effort to create something and it is easy to use. The way in which TikTok is used is also to re-create existing content. Most of us are aware that there are many TikTok videos which resemble each other. They are almost the same, only the people in the videos are different. This also opens a door for many to join various challenges. “However, for those who crave social validation and lack the critical thinking skills or developmental maturity to judge risk, TikTok and TikTok challenges can be a less positive and sometimes dangerous experience.” – Dr. Pamela Rutledge