Back in December, my roommate messaged me a forgettable meme about eating Tide pods. At the time, considering that I was all too consumed by finals, I thought the meme was a one-off joke about how stress eating was no longer limited to junk food. Fast-forward to last week: I’m thoroughly perplexed by the millennial preoccupation with consuming Tide pods. It’s even more surprising that several news outlets are actually taking the time to spell out the numerous health hazards linked to biting into these small soap nuggets.
I shouldn’t really be blaming the journalists for reporting on this unlikely phenomenon — after all, according to Time magazine, 39 teenagers were found to be “intentionally misusing” laundry pods in the first 15 days of 2018. In these trying times, the media has begun targeting millennials as a whole, claiming this trend to be a reflection of our generation. Furthermore, social media itself has come under attack for enabling such absurd and harmful trends. To these allegations, I say that a tiny percentage of audacious teenagers is not an accurate representation of this entire generation. Additionally, while social media might have its drawbacks, it’s certainly not as bad as it has been made out to seem.
Let’s think about Malala Yousafzai, Jack Andraka and Anoyara Khatun. These teenagers have transformed the world, whether it be for fearlessly advocating for the education of women and subsequently receiving a Nobel Prize, inventing a cost-effective way to cure pancreatic cancer, or negotiating a ban on child marriages. It’s safe to say that there is little to no overlap between these brilliant teens and the youth who willfully swallow poisonous detergent as a senseless pastime. While a lot of us want to be up to date on the new Internet craze, assuredly, we all know where to draw the line. While sites like Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook can be disregarded for giving people a platform to showcase their latest shenanigans, it also allows quick access for the rest of us to critique and nip these trends in the bud.
Take, for instance, Logan Paul’s latest controversy. The news of his disrespectful video was plastered all over social media, leading to countless criticisms from people of all ages. Social media grants all of us the power to view and judge everything that is uploaded on the web.
I recall as a child I was tempted by the sweet scent of my Orange-Mango Smoothie “flavored” L’Oréal Kids Shampoo. Before I had the chance to deliberately taste the shampoo, I accidentally tasted the foam. It was enough to assure me that I never wanted to sample any soap product ever again. Hopefully, the serious dangers of ingesting Tide pods don’t fall on deaf ears. Let Tide pods remain an absurd meme, or even better, an alternative to doing laundry as was their intended use.