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Looking Back at the Weirdest (and Most Cringey) Social Media Trends of the 2010s

The 2010s were an active time for the internet worldwide. They saw the birth of Instagram, influencers, digital marketing, notable dance crazes, and memes that practically immortalized some people (and cats). So read on to see some of the weirdest and most cringey social media trends of the 2010s.

The Gallon Smashing Challenge

This challenge involved smashing gallons of fluid in random places. It was weird because there is honestly no good reason to purposely smash a gallon. We all know that if a full gallon falls hard enough it is likely to explode, so why do this? It created massive messes that were almost never cleaned up by the people who had created them. And all of this just to get some clicks, views, and maybe likes. This challenge was wasteful and weird.

The Dress

This social media trend actually involved asking people to guess the color of a dress. While very simple in design, people could just not agree whether the dress was white and gold in color, or blue and black. It split people online into two sides, with each side saying that the dress was one of the combinations or another and to this day, the optical illusion still gets people arguing whenever it comes up.

Fidget Spinners

Fidget spinners were the toys that will most likely be remembered for years to come and associated with the 2010s. The kind of digital marketing that was employed by the makers of this little toy was obviously very effective because in a short time, everyone in the world wanted to have one. While it's great to get some release from the stresses of everyday life, it got a bit too much to see adults from all walks of life so fascinated by it.


It's never a good thing to wake up with a hangover after a night out, and the only thing worse than that in the 2010s was receiving a notification that someone tagged you in a bunch of photos. Taken on bad phone cameras, in bad lighting, and with people in generally less than aesthetic situations, there was nothing good about these photos. Putting these photos online was a bad idea as we have come to know, because anyone can see these pictures, including potential employers. Researchers believe that in just the first half of 2019, data breaches led to an exposure of over four billion records. This fact alone should discourage people from sharing sensitive information and personal photographs online. Thankfully, the muploads trend was left in the 2010s and hopefully it won't ever make a comeback.

Tide Pods

This was an internet challenge that for some strange reason spread far and wide in the 2010s. It involved biting down on Tide Pods, but some people actually ended up swallowing them. Used for laundry, it is a surprise that anyone thought that this was a good idea, and a glimpse of just how much power an online sensation can wield. Google receives more than 63,000 searches each second on a daily basis, and with such traffic, you can be sure that some things people search for are less than ideal.

The Cinnamon Challenge

This was yet another strange viral internet challenge, one that saw people trying to swallow cinnamon. Despite countless videos of different people trying -- and failing -- to swallow cinnamon, many more people still got on board this challenge. The result is countless videos of people challenging each other to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon, and others just attempting to do it while recording themselves. The cringe of this challenge was the general pointlessness of it all, kind of like most other challenges like the hot pepper and salt and ice challenges.

With about 1.8 billion websites operating simultaneously around the world on a daily basis, news and trends spread extremely fast. It is therefore important to make sure that you practice safe habits online, and not be too fast to board any trend you see that seems cool. It may end up being the most embarrassing thing you ever did, and stay immortalized online.