April 1, 2020
As the U.S. joins the global race to stop the spread of COVID-19 and puts the whole country on lockdown, millions of Americans — as well as the rest of the world — take to social media to cure the boredom that comes with staying inside for prolonged hours. Among the activities online, some finally succumb to the power of TikTok, a driving force of online challenges; some post an unflattering photo of themselves for 24 hours on Instagram; and many find some humour through the funniest quarantine memes.
As more and more people try to gain and regain hobbies to pass the time until the lockdown period is lifted in the U.S., many have made TikTok accounts in the process of curing their boredom. TikTok challenges usually consist of a person lip-syncing a certain song or sketch, but there are also some videos that look like the defunct Twitter-owned app Vine, which consisted of six-second comedy shorts. Among some of the global TikTok challenges are the “Savage Challenge,” which uses Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” from her latest album “Suga,” and “Secure the Bag” and “Tear It Up” song-challenge from the YouTube duo, Ceraadi (sisters Saiyr and Emaza Gibson).
This challenge is a lot more cryptic than simple TikTok challenges. You will notice this one if you see it from someone you follow on Instagram and they have the caption “Until tomorrow,” accompanied by an embarrassing photo or photos of that person. If you like their picture, it’s more than likely you’ll get a message saying, “You liked my post so you have to post an embarrassing picture of yourself. For the caption you’re only allowed to write ‘Until tomorrow.’ You must send this message to everyone who has liked your picture. It must remain visible for 24 hours. Good luck and don’t spoil the game!” So if you see these kinds of posts on your timeline, heed this warning and don’t like them. But it’s a great excuse to post that photo you thought you looked cute in but “might delete later.”
These aren’t all that unusual and have been around before the lockdown, but they have gained more traction since everybody is trying to figure out what to do with their spare time. Instagram accounts like @miafrda, @kayxstars and @leahferezan make bingo board templates or fun little templates that make people choose “this or that” in regards to simple things that can make a person have a little bit of fun, and then they can tag their friends to join in on the fun!
While this period of self-isolation is upon us, people try to find anything to make them laugh while staying indoors. As memes usually do, they all bond us to try and find a common thread between all of us and remind us that we really aren’t alone as we think we are. Some memes include a TikTok by the user @crazy.dre, titled “My mom checking on me during the quarantine.” Instagram comic illustrator user @thelandofboggs has a post captioned, “Keeping it business casual,” depicting one of their characters in a Zoom business call with professional attire on top, but out of the Zoom call frame, the character is actually surrounded by a mess.
Female Empowerment Challenge
One of the challenges that doesn’t get talked about all that much is one dealing with women tagging 10 of their friends. The action seems simple and harmless, but the message associated with it is a tremendous one that deserves to be recognized. By tagging 10 female friends, women are showing that they are uplifting their friends in a society that likes to watch women tear each other down.