Finally, there's a viral internet challenge doing some good for the world. It's called the "trashtag challenge."
In the era of social media and its sheer power over our lives, viral challenges have taken over our news feeds by storm. It would seem as if there's a new viral challenge every day. In essence, these challenges reach a global audience as a result of our instant connection and create a following. Our attention spans and levels of interest in each challenge dictate we will lose interest in the craze, get bored with the videos, and see a newer one pop up.
Viral internet challenges are known to span a spectrum, from good-spirited and socially-conscious to downright harmful and pointless.
A few examples of the former include the mannequin challenge, the book bucket challenge, and the food stamp challenge. The first is simply funny and light-hearted, while the last two are beneficial challenges which don't put anyone at risk. At the other end of the spectrum are harmful and risky challenges which pose no benefit and are done for the shock factor and make up the bulk of viral challenges. Some examples include the bird bucket challenge, the fire challenge, and the Tide pod challenge. None of these provided any value to the person participating or those watching the videos. However, they proved people are willing to partake in risky activities for their five seconds of fame.
The "trashtag challenge" is part of the first classification of viral challenges because its premise is good for the world. The challenge encourages people to clean up littered areas and post side-by-side before and after photos, showing the work they did. Thousands of photos of people partaking have surfaced since the beginning of the month, especially among teens.
Although first popularized in 2015, it's resurfaced four years later. Many are thankful for the efforts of those cleaning up streets, forests and national parks and are acknowledging the hard work of the participants.
I hope this challenge never ends.
To those who have participated, keep up the good work. To those who are thinking of participating, don't be afraid to do something good.