5 things to think about before doing a social media #challenge

So you’re on Instagram, Facebook or Tiktok, and you see the latest “cool” challenge that “everyone” is doing. Here are 5 things to think about before you click record and do something stupid the challenge.

1. Is there a deeper meaning to doing this challenge?

Some challenges come about as a way of raising awareness about an issue. Push-up challenges have been rather popular, whether it be the #22pushupchallenge about veterans with PTSD, or the 10 push-up challenge for fighting a sedentary lifestyle.

Some folks however forget that some challenges have a deeper purpose. Like the Ice Bucket challenge was intended to raise awareness about Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). If you are attempting to do a challenge that has significance, do mention it in your post, so that others would know what it’s all about. Otherwise, it’s just another meaningless wannabe viral post.

2. Is it safe?

Are you risking injuring yourself or others around you? If you are, don’t do it. Because 1000 likes aren’t worth dying for. Case in point: the “Malaikat Maut” challenge. Absolutely ridiculous.

3. Is it respectful?

Some folks might think otherwise on this one, but if a prank, no matter how funny, does a disservice to someone, causes immense embarrassment, it probably isn’t something you would want to do. But hey, we live in a world where viral entertainment content in king. The question is, are you bold enough to say no to the trend?

4. Is it a waste of resources?

I have to admit, watching The Rock and Kevin Hart’s reactions while doing the tortilla challenge was hilarious. But some part of me got thinking, “So a whole load of people are buying packets of tortillas just to slap their faces? What a waste of food!” That may have been a one-off, but it also might be worth reflecting once in a while, on how the choices we make reflect our values and privileges. (Anyone else taught not to play with their food while growing up?)

5. Is it beneficial?

There are, of course, other reasons why people do social media challenges. Jumping on the bandwagon of some social media trends are in fact useful strategies for social media marketing. This is particularly useful, if you are promoting a product or a service that is beneficial to society. That said, it would prudent to inject some common sense and critical thinking, in this virtual world of voyeurism.

There is certainly no shortage of digital content. What we lack, however, is quality. Choose quality over quantity, and thoughtfulness over trendiness. #UnpopularOpinion

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