Stupid Social Media Trends That Had Disastrous Health Risks

Trends come and go. Most of them are just for fun and to pass the time, but over recent years, they have incorporated an element of… Trista - January 20, 2023

Trends come and go. Most of them are just for fun and to pass the time, but over recent years, they have incorporated an element of danger that has been forcing those on social media to put their safety on the line. The memes and trends in this list aren’t for the faint of heart, as a few of them have resulted in serious harm and even death. If you’re sensitive to content about self-harm and/or suicide, then you may want to skip this list. Please, find something a little more light-hearted to read. Otherwise, keep reading for pointless trends and dangerous challenges that cause serious harm.

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The Back-Cracking Challenge

Popping your back may feel good temporarily, but it can be dangerous to do it regularly or with the help of another person. The so-called “back-cracking challenge” is not recommended by medical professionals because it can cause serious injuries. Though the challenge hasn’t resulted in any death, some serious injuries have resulted from attempting this challenge. It involves someone else trying to align your spine and then returning the favor. Attempting to realign someone’s spine without a proper understanding of anatomy and biology can be harmful to both the person attempting the challenge and the person receiving it. Instead of relying on back-cracking, there are more effective and safer ways to improve the health of your back, such as exercising, stretching, and consulting a trained medical professional.


The Tide Pod Challenge

The Tide Pod challenge. Most of us have heard of this hare-brained trend by now. The only prize waiting at the end of this challenge was a trip to the hospital room, a pumped stomach, and possibly death. Laundry detergent is quite toxic and is meant only to clean your clothes, not your insides. The majority of cases involving exposure to laundry detergent pods are due to ingestion. As a result, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are the most common effects. “Dysphagia secondary to oropharyngeal and esophageal mucosal burns and ulcers” may also happen as a result of ingestion. That’s ignoring the fact that the pod has a special plastic that can get stuck in your throat and cause you to choke. So please, leave the laundry to the parents who are more responsible and know not to put highly toxic substances in their mouths.

BlindDensetsu Twitter

The Licking Random Foods Challenge

It’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to lick a hand pole on a subway train, even before the pandemic. But, in the early days of COVID-19, there were some individuals who thought the virus was a joke and went out of their way to ignore guidelines and touch and lick public objects, including subway poles. Not only is this behavior gross and unsanitary, it also put them at risk of contracting COVID-19. Thankfully, this trend died out as more and more people began to take the virus seriously. But in general, it’s important to remember to practice good hygiene and avoid touching or licking dirty public surfaces, especially during a pandemic.

Tiktok Jessi Frederick

The Subway Surfing Challenge

Unfortunately, subway surfing is not a new challenge like many of these dangerous trends. It was quite popular in the 1980s, but people decided they no longer wanted to risk their lives. However, it has seen a resurgence, and it involves “surfers” riding outside of train cars, whether hanging onto the sides or back or sitting on the roof of the train as it speeds down the tracks. Unfortunately for one, Christopher Serrano, a 25-year-old man from the Bronx, decided to go on a spree of subway surfing and ended up losing his life. He tried to climb on top of one of the subway trains in Brooklyn and was knocked off the train as it was moving, resulting in his death. Sadly, it takes a tragic incident like this to convince others not to try such dangerous stunts. Keep reading for pointless trends and dangerous challenges that cause serious harm.

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The Kiki Challenge

The “Kiki Challenge” or “In My Feelings Challenge” is a trend that originated on TikTok and involves dancing to the song “In My Feelings” by Drake, often while jumping out of a moving car. This challenge is extremely dangerous and has led to several injuries and accidents. Participating in this challenge can put you at risk of getting hit by a car, falling, or getting hurt while jumping out of a moving vehicle. It is also illegal in many places to dance or perform stunts on a public road while a car is in motion. Some people have even been arrested or charged with reckless or negligent behavior. It’s important to remember that trends and challenges on social media should never come at the expense of your safety and well-being.


The Outlet Challenge

Remember when you were a kid and your mother told you not to stick a fork in a light socket? Well, it seems some teenagers didn’t listen, because the “outlet challenge” has become a trend. The idea is to plug in chargers and drop a coin between the gap to see what happens. While it might sound cool, coins are metal, and good conductors of electricity, and in uncontrolled environment, it can easily start a fire. At best, the charger gets fried and stops working, and the breaker is tripped, leaving that part of the house without power. Thankfully, there have been no recorded deaths from this challenge, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe. So don’t be tempted to try it, it’s not worth the risk.

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The Blackout Challenge

Passing out as a trend? Seriously folks, let’s be real here. The “blackout challenge” may seem like a harmless bit of fun, but in reality, it’s a recipe for disaster. Cutting off your air supply to make yourself pass out may give you a “high,” but it also puts you at risk of suffocating, falling, and hitting your head. Not to mention, it’s just plain irresponsible to do this alone, without any supervision. And don’t even get me started on the fact that it’s already led to brain death in two children and one child had to be taken off life support. Associate Division Chief of Nemours’ Pediatric Critical Care, Dr. Mindy Dickerman, warned that the Blackout Challenge can result in strangulation that can cause cardiac arrest and significant organ damage, including brain damage. Folks, let’s be smart and avoid this dangerous trend. It’s not worth the risk.


The Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge

The Kylie Jenner lip challenge has been a popular trend for a while. Many people were infatuated with the young Jenner and wanted to try and achieve her look without plastic surgery. Teenagers, of course, couldn’t afford such procedures, so they looked for the next best thing: something to suck on. Jars, shot glasses, bottles, you name it. They would stick their lips in there and suck all the air out. In turn, this would create a vacuum that would pull blood into the lips and make them swell up, providing a temporary “plump” look that they could then show off to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, bruising and permanent damage could result if done for too long or too many times. Clots can form in the lips, as well as fibrosis (thickening of the tissue) that requires surgery to fix. These dumb trends aren’t worth it.

ogmike Twitter

The Milk Crate Challenge

If you want to get seriously injured, then the milk crate challenge is definitely up your alley. No, seriously, don’t try it out. The challenge involves stacking empty plastic milk crates together to create sets of stairs on either side leading up to a focal point. After building it, the daredevil must climb up one side and then down the other without falling off. Needless to say, pretty much everyone attempting this challenge fell over and injured themselves. The challenge was understandable during the pandemic when people needed something to do to keep from being bored. However, this challenge was pretty much unnecessary with how many cracked their behinds on the hard ground.


The Sunburn Art Challenge

Where there is a will… there is someone stupid enough to make a challenge up that will get them hurt. In this case, that stupid trend is the sunburn art challenge. It’s pretty self explanatory. This can be done by selectively exposing certain areas of skin to the sun while protecting others, resulting in a contrast between the sunburned and non-sunburned areas. Such as with an object or sunscreen. The danger goes far beyond any short-term pain, redness and discomfort, because after the sunburn fades, lasting damage remains. Sunburn accelerates skin aging and is a leading cause in the majority of cases of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.


The Skull Crack Challenge

No one really thinks about the dangers associated with specific trends and pranks; they’re doing them for fun and are unfortunate to experience consequences that they never accounted for. But there’s nothing unpredictable about trying to crack someone’s skull on the ground. The “challenge” involved asking an innocent victim to jump up in the air. Two other people, the prankers, would kick their feet out from under them, forcing them to fall backward, risking landing on their heads. You would think that people would know better and wouldn’t want to risk the safety or the life of someone who didn’t ask to participate in this kind of challenge. In fact, in Florida, two teenagers who tried out this prank were charged with a misdemeanor for the injuries they caused to their friend while performing this challenge.

New York Post

The Waxing Challenge

Since witnessing this dangerous trend online, dermatologists have warned about the many health risks to The Waxing Challenge. In this challenge, a salon or home waxing enthusiast would apply hot wax to the entire face. After it dried, it would then be painfully stripped from every surface and facial cavity. Waxing is a painful process to begin with, so why would this trend be any different? “Waxing is a traumatic process for the skin, especially sensitive areas such as those found around the eyes,” Dr. Anjali Mahto, a London dermatologist, told the Evening Standard. “Attempting to wax inside your nose or ears is not recommended, as it can damage the skin deep inside these cavities and can cause ingrown hairs and inflammation, known as pseudofolliculitis barbae.” Even more seriously, putting hot wax all over your face, blocking your airways, can also cause suffocation.

Graham Hunt

The Tombstone Challenge

Tombstoning, also known as tombstone diving, is a trend that involves jumping into water from a high height while remaining vertical with hands pinned to the sides. It may look cool and adventurous, but it’s important to understand that it’s extremely dangerous and not recommended by any medical professionals. Jumping into water from such a height can feel like hitting a solid surface, causing serious injuries to bones, joints and internal organs. The water may look deep but that’s not always the case, and it can be difficult to gauge the depth, increasing the risk of injury. Even if you are a strong swimmer, the impact of hitting the water from a great height can be severe. Even cliff diving puts tremendous stresses on your body. If you jump from 20 feet (6 meters) above the water, you’ll hit the water at 25 mph (40 kph). The impact is strong enough to compress your spine, break bones or give you a concussion.

Credit: TikTok

The Salt and Ice Challenge

When there is snow on your walk, you’ve probably reached for the bag of rock salt to start sprinkling it. Have you ever thought about how the process works? The salt dissolves into sodium and chloride ions, disrupting the bonds between the water molecules and causing the snow to melt. It essentially lowers the freezing point of water so that it doesn’t start to refreeze instantly. Take note of that: it lowers the freezing point. Now apply that science to the skin. An ice cube in your hand is a little painful to hold onto, but the salt and ice trend took this to a dangerous level. The idea was to sprinkle salt on the back of your arm and place an ice cube on it. Because the freezing point is lower, the ice will feel even colder on the skin, which can result in severe burns to the skin from the ice.

Fight Club

The Punch 4 Punch Challenge

“Fight Club” was supposed to be a metaphor for toxic masculinity and how it can ruin a man’s life. Instead, people looked at the movie through their own lens and found inspiration in people fighting each other just for the sole purpose of violence. Called “Punch 4 Punch,” it is a game where two players take turns hitting each other, with often more and more violent blows until one person gives up. This used to be in the arm or shoulder, but someone decided to make it more dangerous, and going for the face or chest was more worthwhile. One of the main risks is the potential for head trauma. The head is a sensitive area and repeated blows can lead to traumatic brain injury, which can cause serious problems such as memory loss, cognitive difficulties, and even permanent brain damage. Additionally, being punched repeatedly in the body can cause internal organ damage, such as a ruptured spleen or liver, which can be life-threatening. Not only has this stupid trend led to a lot of injuries, but it also claimed the life of a 23-year-old father who collapsed after being in a “game” of “Punch 4 Punch.”


The Duct Tape Challenge

The Duct Tape Challenge, is a trend that has been circulating around the internet for years now, and it’s not just a harmless game. It involves wrapping a person with duct tape and filming them trying to escape. It may sound like a fun and harmless challenge, but the reality is that it can cause serious injuries such as broken bones, cuts, and burns. It’s not just a physical danger, it also promotes dangerous behavior and should be discouraged. So, if you’re thinking of trying out this trend, just remember it’s not a game, it’s not fun and it’s not safe. It’s important for parents to educate their children about the risks of participating in such challenges, for social media platforms to take action to remove such content, and for individuals to consider the risks and consequences before participating in any dangerous challenges or trends. Safety should always be the number one priority.

CBS Chicago.

The Hot Water Challenge

Remember when we said, “what goes up must come down?” This is another example of advice teens should take quite seriously. The hot water challenge can be a cool effect to witness, so you should stick to watching YouTube videos about it instead of trying it out yourself. It has to be extremely cold outside, and you need a pot of boiling water. The aim is to throw the hot water into the air; done right, the hot water will instantly freeze and sublimate, turning into steam that rises into the air. But not all of that water is going to freeze, and it’s going to come back down. Right on top of you. Younger kids might find this dare “cool” or “fun”, but may not understand that pouring boiling hot water on someone causes serious irreparable damage and even possibly death. According to the Burn Foundation, hot water (140 degrees F) can cause third degree burns in 5 seconds.

YouTube Jake Paul

The Bird Box Challenge

The “Bird Box Challenge” was inspired by the movie Bird Box, where Sandra Bullock’s character has to keep a blindfold on to avoid a deadly creature. In reality, there are no such creatures, but it hasn’t stopped some people from trying to navigate their world while wearing a blindfold. One of the dangerous variations of this challenge is attempting to drive while blindfolded, using only GPS to guide them. This is extremely dangerous and irresponsible, as it puts not only yourself but also other people at risk. The GPS can’t tell you if there’s a pedestrian crossing the street or another car in the way, and it can’t tell you if a traffic light is red or green. This challenge should be done indoors, where there is no risk of seriously hurting yourself or others.

Chloe Marie Phillips Tiktok

The Benadryl Challenge

Benadryl, is one of those over-the-counter meds that everyone has heard of, but it comes with a side effect that nobody wants: drowsiness that makes you want to take a nap. Unfortunately, some teenagers have been taking advantage of this side effect to get a “high” feeling. Let’s be real, who doesn’t want to feel good without having to spend a lot of money or go through the trouble of getting something illegal? The thing is, taking too much Benadryl can be really dangerous. Consuming that much of any medication can have serious adverse reactions on your body. The “high” feeling is short-lived and can seriously impair your breathing and cognitive functions. One teenager even died as a result of an overdose on Benadryl. So, if you’re thinking about trying this trend, just remember: Medication is for healing, not for getting high. Be safe and stay away from dangerous challenges.


The NekNominate Challenge

The name of this challenge can be quite misleading and doesn’t really tell you what it’s about. It’s an Internet craze that involves someone drinking alcohol and having the event recorded. Once they post it online, other people would try to outdo their drinking feats. However, the human body can only deal with a certain amount of alcohol before everything starts to shut down. That’s what happened to a few people who were unfortunate enough not to survive the challenge. Outside of death, drinking that much alcohol in one go can severely strain the liver and kidneys, leading to disease and chronic problems that require hospitalization and treatment for the rest of their lives. What challenge is really worth having to do dialysis three times a week because your kidneys no longer function properly?

Where Do We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

How Stuff Works: Cliff Diving

Medline Plus: Benadryl

Skin Cancer Foundation

Forbes Magazine

20 Most Dangerous Social Media Challenges to Avoid | FamilyMinded

10 Disturbing Internet Trends That Caused Fatalities And Injuries – Listverse

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Burn Foundation–504847271.html