Can we have a Common Sense Challenge?

Over the past several years, there has been a lot of “challenges” floating around the Internet, and every one of them has been more insanely stupid than the one that preceded it.

First, there was the “gallon challenge” in which the idea was to chug a gallon of milk as quickly as possible or drink an entire gallon within an hour without vomiting. A similar challenge existed, chugging a gallon of water which resulted in the 2007 death of a California woman after she consumed a gallon of water as part of a radio station contest where the winner would win a Nintendo Wii. Then there was the cinnamon challenge which became popular around 2012, where one would post a video of themselves on Youtube eating a spoonful of ground cinnamon and not drinking any water for 60 seconds. Generally, the result was the person choking and lunging for water. This led to a rise in calls to poison control centers. The risk of this challenge was that cellulose which is an inert substance which doesn’t easily break down could get lodged in the lungs and suffocate the person foolish enough to take on this so-called challenge.

Finally, there was the “bath-salt challenge” where teens would snort or ingest large quantities of synthetic drugs that can be purchased at convenience stores, liquor stores, and various other places. The drugs are advertised as “safe” and legal alternatives to illegal drugs that when taken, produce the same amphetamine-like stimulation and hallucinations one would experience if they took ecstasy. This was the suspected cause of death of a 28-year-old woman in Wisconsin in 2011.

The new “challenge” that is trending is being referred to as the “Tide Pod Challenge”, where people bite into the pods that contain Tide laundry soap or fry them in pans and quickly chew them before spewing the soap from their mouth. This is the most bizarre challenge as of yet, at least to me. With the cinnamon challenge, the risks may not have been known at first, after all, most of us eat cinnamon and it tastes great! But Tide Pods? It would simply be common sense to know that consuming laundry detergent would be toxic. It’s common knowledge that there are chemicals in it that when consumed, could be fatal. There are even warnings on every bottle and container that clearly relay the dangers of putting the substance into your mouth, let alone swallowing it. It would be one thing if it were a young child mistaking the colorful, scented pods for candy and popping them into their mouths as toddlers often do with things. This was a problem a while back and Tide responded by telling parents to keep laundry detergents out of the reach of children. That should also be common sense to any parent. But those who are doing this “challenge” are teenagers who should know a little better and exercise slightly better judgment, at least to the best of their ability. Tide has responded to this epidemic by warning people of the dangers and are urging people not to participate, YouTube has also removed videos of people engaging in this ludicrous trend.

The key words in the paragraph above are “common sense”. The problem, I think, is that there is not enough of it in today’s society, or as the old saying goes, “sense isn’t common” and things like the Tide Pod Challenge are proof of that. This is why I think the new trend or “challenge” should be dubbed “The Common Sense Challenge” where people use their common sense and not ingest, snort, or whatever hazardous materials or do things that would put themselves or others in danger and post it online so that it goes viral, and even better, if people would exercise their common sense and not repeat the idiotic thing they saw somebody else doing, we could cut down on hospital visits and calls to poison control centers for reasons of stupidity and negligence. Use your common sense, be a part of the Common Sense Challenge and put an end to this craziness!