Don’t Eat the Soap

A student responds to the Tide Pod Challenge, an Internet phenomenon that can have deadly consequences.

Tide+Pod+boxes+line+the+walls+of+a+supermarket.
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Don’t Eat the Soap

Tide Pod boxes line the walls of a supermarket.

Tide Pod boxes line the walls of a supermarket.

via Flickr

Tide Pod boxes line the walls of a supermarket.

via Flickr

via Flickr

Tide Pod boxes line the walls of a supermarket.

Zoe Tzivas, Contributing Writer

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What adults see: a convenient laundry detergent pac. What Generation Z sees: a forbidden fruit worth trying. Tide Pods are taking the internet by storm right now, but why? What is the difference between the purpose that adults give the soap capsule and the one Gen Z gives it?

It all started in February 2012 when Tide introduced the Tide Pods laundry detergent pac. Commercials were made to present to parents the dangers of having the pods in reach of children, as there seemed to be an apparent problem of young children eating them. This concern is understandable; they are young children who don’t know any better. But what’s the explanation for teenagers eating them today?

The Tide Pods Challenge is taking over the internet. The videos being posted online all have the same concept: the person picks up a pod and dramatically takes a bite out of it, making sure that their audience can see the detergent flowing out of the capsule. However, the impact of this challenge is taking a negative toll. The number of calls to Poison Control have risen by 20 percent this year already because of teens who have attempted this challenge, according to CBS News.

The teenagers of today are the leaders of tomorrow. I’ve personally never understood why it’s so hard for adults to grasp the differences between our generations, but now I think I finally do. The influence of social media has introduced a way of thinking that almost all of generation Z shares, and it is a specific sense of humor that confuses and worries adults.

Honestly, I believe that this is just one example of how this generation of teenagers is deviating from the last. It alludes to the mental distinction of generation Z, but that’s as far as the positive feedback goes. The act of physically eating the Tide Pods has made me worried about the safety of teenagers due to powerful social media influence. Even though we are constantly told not to, we still take a lot of the things we find on the Internet seriously. But, as a teenager, I understand the situation as a joke that was taken too far. If the majority of teenagers with Internet access have some common sense, they would know to take this meme lightly and not as a serious command to eat laundry detergent.