It is hard to believe that another decade is coming to an end. As we reflect on the past 10 years of our lives, it is only fitting that we look at some of the most popular—and weirdest—internet trends of the past decade. After all, isn’t life just one big meme?
Planking – 2011
Planking should have just remained a tortuous ab exercise, yet if you got on the Internet in 2011, chances are you’d see a picture of someone laying on the ground or in some ridiculous place planking. Why was it popular? I wish I knew.
The Cinnamon Challenge – 2012
This challenge was one of the more dangerous Internet trends of the 2010s because one 13-year-old boy ended up in a coma from it. I tried it once, and after approximately two seconds, my bathroom was covered in spittle and cinnamon.
Harlem Shake – 2013
The past decade has given birth to countless dance moves like the Dab (I still use this one almost daily), the Whip and NaeNae, Milly-Rocking, Juju on the Beat and the oh-so famous Cat Daddy. Despite the invention of these iconic moves, no dance this decade is weirder than the Harlem Shake. The trend starts out with just one person, often dressed in a strange costume or morph suit, dancing along to the song “Harlem Shake.” After the beat drops, the words “and do the Harlem shake” are heard, and everyone absolutely loses it. I distinctly remember participating in the Harlem Shake during grade school play practice. Man, was I cool.
The Dress – 2015
In February of 2015, a simple image of a dress on Twitter threatened friendships across the world. Depending on the lighting of their screen, or their vision, people either saw a blue and black dress or a gold and white one. The dress was originally black and blue, so I refuse to accept that it ever appeared gold and white.
Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge – 2015
Kylie Jenner is very active on social media, so it was only a matter of time before a challenge involving her came about. However, I could have never imagined the Lip Challenge. Sticking your lips into a shot glass and sucking until they swell up? That does not sound like a good time to me, not to mention the numerous cases of people’s lips “exploding” due to this challenge.
Mannequin Challenge – 2016
This challenge was especially prevalent during my senior year of high school, thanks to “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmund and a high school in Jacksonville, FL. Standing still in an unnatural pose for as long as possible really does not make sense, yet thousands of people were eager to share their best mannequin pose.
The Salt and Ice Challenge – 2017
Teenagers and kids alike seem to love challenges that threaten their well-being. The salt and ice challenge started circulating in early 2017 and involved putting salt on your skin and then covering it with ice. Some people took it as a challenge to see who could hold the ice on their skin the longest, often resulting in severe frostbite and irreparable skin damage.
Tide Pods Challenge – 2017
Like the cinnamon challenge, the Tide Pods Challenge resulted in serious injuries. Eating or drinking laundry detergent is something we’re taught not to do at a very young age, so why someone would decide to eat a laundry detergent pod beats me. Brushing your teeth will do the trick, trust me.
Laurel vs. Yanny – 2018
After a high school freshman looked up the pronunciation of the word “laurel” for her English class, a nation-wide debate ensued. Depending on the frequency people picked up on, either “Laurel” or “Yanny” was heard. Who knew that one simple clip of audio could spark such intense debate? I remember showing the audio to my family members and arguing about which name was correct at lunch with my friends. For the record, I’m #TeamLaurel all the way.
Number Neighbor – 2019
Being friendly with neighbors is a plus of owning your own house. Texting your number neighbor, or the person with a phone number that is one less than or one greater than all of your digits, is a positive of owning a phone. You have to be pretty bold to randomly text someone though, so if you reached out to your number neighbor, kudos to you.