We’ve seen a lot more of our friends and the famous – from A to Z listers – out on social media in this last month. This tells us that there’s yet another online community craze taking the Internet by storm, and it goes by the name of the Mannequin Challenge.
As with other social media crazes, the Mannequin Challenge has succeeded in bringing millions of people worldwide, of every race, creed and colour, together as one community to connect and have fun. At its best, we’ve seen a fantastic video of a carriage full of strangers on the London Underground uniting to complete the Challenge.
Anyone who has ever tried to merely get a ‘good morning’ from fellow passengers will appreciate the inherent power of the Challenge to to create community. Having no language barriers, the engaging creative fun of social crazes enables people of all ages and backgrounds to bond over something so simple, yet fascinating. And therein lies the power.
With the power to unite – and influence – millions of people, comes the worst of the Challenge. Hilary Clinton and her campaign plane hijacked the Challenge to put themselves out in front of a mega social media audience on election day. This was arguably less about enjoyment, and more of a last ditch attempt to influence undecided voters. Blac Chyna, fiancé to reality TV star Rob Kardashian, managed to perform a Mannequin Challenge while in labour. Did they do this for fun or to make sure the Kardashian ‘brand’ hit the social headlines? Is this an example of the best or the worst? That is a matter of debate, and all that matters is that it got them talked about!
Some attempts to frame-freeze those in the picture go wrong. Notably, the Newcastle club event, Projekt, which attempted a club-wide Mannequin Challenge. In fairness, organising thousands of intoxicated students was never going to be easy, as was proven by several club-goers continuing to dance.
But really, who cares? The purpose of the Mannequin Challenge is to entertain and bring friends and strangers together to laugh, and Newcastle’s event certainly achieved that. Love it or hate it, few can resist browsing the Mannequin Challenge.
We love to see people making idiots of themselves, so even if a Challenge has an ‘agenda’ or goes wrong, if we laugh, we’ll love it.