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Tide Pods are No Joke

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Tide Pods are No Joke

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From time to time, social media has a trendy challenge for teens to push the limits and get a lot of views. The cinnamon challenge, ALS ice bucket challenge, chubby bunny challenge, Kylie Jenner lip challenge, and the chugging milk challenge have all made an appearance on social media throughout the years, and 2018 will not disappoint. The Tide Pod challenge is dangerous. The Tide Pod challenge is and along with a friend or two, place the detergent in their mouth until the outer coating starts to melt. The challenge has two parts, one to keep the pod in one’s mouth despite the bitter taste and terrible feeling, two to keep it in the mouth the longest of the group before it pops. This challenge sounds utterly unintelligent due to the face it is still laundry detergent, even if it looks like a piece of candy. The pods have a variety of harsh chemicals that can cause hospitalization. Even still, the people participating in this death sentence are old enough to realize the dangers of consuming the Tide Pods.

Although one would think poison control has never heard of anything like this before, you would be surprised. According to The Washington Post, poison control centers reported that 220 teens had ingested them last year, and 25 percent of them did so intentionally. But, even before that center’s report of over 10,000 cases of children under the age of 5 exposed to the pods, which makes sense because young children can honestly mistake them for candy. In response to many children accidentally eating the detergent, and in 2012, Tide created a more bitter tasting coating to discourage kids from eating them. Still, that did not stop people from putting their lives in danger from the highly concentrated detergent outlined with dissolvable chemicals. In the first fifteen days of 2018 there, were a total of 39 calls to the poison control centers with intentional exposure. To compare, in 2016 there was a total of 39 cases and 2017 a total of 53.

Rumors spread on Twitter and other social media sites of Tide removing the product from the shelves entirely due to this crazy challenge, but that was quickly shut down on Twitter. The company has been staying very active on social media, responding to anyone claiming they or a friend ingested a tide pod with condolences and the number to the poison control center hotlines. There is no clear evidence on why someone would decide to start the challenge but can be related to tweets with memes, or jokes, about eating tide pods on pizza. The most obvious idea originates from a video on “CollegeHumor” where the host rants about his desire to eat a Tide Pod. He compares the feeling of it to that of a gusher. In his defense, the thought of what it would feel like has probably popped up into a lot of people’s mind, but never enough to consume one. To reject responsibility for this challenge along with others that may occur in the future, Facebook and YouTube released statements discouraging the risk of physical harm on social media platforms. Tide is and will continue to be, hyperactive on Twitter and other marketing stages to stay on top of the damage they caused by the foolish decisions of the challengers. They even created a video of spokesperson Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots tight end, stating the dangers of eating the pods.

Children, teens, and even adults have participated in the Tide Pod Challenge, and as a result, have harmed their body from the ludicrous decision. Hopefully, the dangers from the challenge will bring a new era of peace to social media where people will not hurt themselves.  

Emma Greenspan, Opinion Editor

Emma is a Senior at Wheeler and the opinions editor for the print edition of The Catalyst. She stays involved as the Varsity Cheer Captain and President...

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Tide Pods are No Joke