The internet as we know it is getting up there in age. Now, I'm not taking about Arpa net, that is indeed old. I'm talking about the regular social media, google, accessible internet. It seems still a new thing, but social media has been around on a mass scale since 2002.

If you're counting, yes, that's 20 years.

10 years ago or so, we had the advent of viral challenges. You see one, you do it, and document it yourself. Maybe you remember these. They went around social media like wildfire. I remember these because at the time, I was in college and every student group was doing them all.

The internet has become a place where viral internet challenges have become a very common thing with Tik Tok, Insta and Snapchat, let's go down memory lane to when they were a new thing. Some still are huge, and others are tucked away in the internet archives.

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Flash Mobs

Flash mobs are fun and leaves people not in on the gag, A gang of people use a set time and place to essentially perform an action. As I said before, some might not be in on the gag, and the reactions that normal people have are at points priceless. When I attended college, I walked right into one with my headphones on, and acted natural. I'd be damned if they were to get me.

Harlem Shake

This was based on a section of music made by a DJ not directly affiliated with the original Harlem Shake from the 80's, which at the time, confused me. According to Wikipedia, this started with a You Tube video featuring among other characters Filthy Frank, now known as Joji, dancing a little jig to a section of the song The Harlem Shake. After that, the dance went super viral.

" Cups" The Cup Song

The cup song was apart of the Pitch Perfect movie, where Anna Kendricks sings and uses the sound of stacking cups as a rhythm to keep time. According to Wikipedia, It originated from a song from the 1930's, reworked and eventually made for the movie in the 2010's. This was a big one where people did this on multiple social platforms.


Here is one of my favorites, only because of how ridiculous it is. If you remember, this one is a static challenge of an individual laying stiff-as-a-board across random things like statues, escalators, park benches, anything really as long as you get the shot. It started to get out of hand when kids were planking in dangerous situations like the edges of buildings and the like. It made national news and the grown-ups warned everyone about a dangerous viral act when according to Wikipedia, it resulted in at least one death.

The Ice Bucket Challenge

Last, but certainly not least is The Ice Bucket Challenge. I believe the most infamous of the Internet viral challenges only because it resulted in numerous head injuries. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, its a challenge for ALS charity. ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. This is where you record yourself pouring a bucket of ice water over your head and challenging another person to do the same to keep the charity alive and running. This resulted in a great deal of viral videos and as I said earlier, Head trauma. People would use any number of vessels to pour cold water on themselves, some containers would be unwieldy and people would drop them on their heads and you would see the agony from a bump on the head as well as the cold water. I would not suggest trying this without some sort of supervision or assistance.

Let us know your favorite classic internet viral challenges in the comments.


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