It started with a hip-hop song, and then it sparked a viral sensation. Marchelle Abrahams unpacks the Zoom Challenge.
First, we had the Tide Pod challenge and then the Deodorant Challenge. If there’s anything these trends have taught us, it’s that bored teens are prepared to scratch the periphery of the interweb in search of the dumbest things just for the sake of a trending hashtag.
But just when you thought you’ve seen it all, a new challenge comes along.
Dubbed the Zoom Challenge, the concept is simple enough, but it’s the pain associated with it that has even medical experts worried.
Similar to the #KikiChallenge, spurred by Drake’s new hit song In My Feelings, this one is played out to Lil Yachty’s song Mickey, which has the lyrics Trappin’ out the back streets, runnin’ through the packs like a track meet - ZOOM!
Teens sit on the floor with their legs stretched in front of them. When they hear “zoom”, a friend off-screen yanks their legs in a fast movement to make it appear like they are zooming away.
It sounds like a harmless enough challenge, but a frightening trend is now surfacing.
Small children and pets are being used for the sake of comedy gags, and it’s rousing the ire of social media users.
“Now let’s try this challenge with the parents. Let see how funny that is,” said one Twitter user.
“Why they giving these babies whiplash?” commented another. One Instagram comment even went as far as saying: “This is child abuse.”
The violent motion of the action has already caused serious injuries, from whiplash to concussions.
And now medical experts are warning anyone from attempting it, especially younger children.
“This is a parent’s nightmare, especially when smaller kids and toddlers participate,” medical doctor Jennifer Wider told Women’s Health.
“Smaller bodies, and even unprepared larger ones can be grabbed and moved too quickly, increasing the risk of neck injuries, whiplash and concussion.”
The forced movement on the word “zoom” is fast and strong.
You know it’s coming, but it still gets you by surprise. “As a result, the (person’s)neck is extended.
“Thus the person or animal's head can hit a hard surface,” she warned.
On the yanking motion, Dr Brian Davis told a local US TV station: “There’s just nothing you can potentially do to prepare yourself from preventing hitting your head.”
The sports medicine professor added that neck and spinal injuries, even broken bones are possible when a child is yanked with force.
If you’re still intent on doing the challenge, there is a safer way to go about it.
According to BuzzFeed, one hack which achieves the same effect is by reversing the video - start in a crouched position before pushing your body into the frame.
Chances are you’re going to have to do a few takes before perfecting it. Good luck!