Instagram challenges: What are they all about?

Connor Pinsk ’23

Instagram challenges are nothing new. They have been around for quite some time, like the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014 that raised money for ALS research. People across America were asking their friends and family to pour freezing water and ice on their heads.

Coronavirus has forced people to stay inside and limit interaction to only their family, so Instagram challenges started a new chapter, one born from boredom. This new era of challenges is simple, strange, and funny all at the same time, and everyone is doing them—my friends and family included.

Like almost all other teens across the world, I am cooped up in my house with little to do. My phone seems like an obvious choice of entertainment, as does Instagram.

Like almost all other teens across the world, I am cooped up in my house with little to do. My phone seems like an obvious choice of entertainment, as does Instagram. Flipping through Instagram stories, all I see are challenges. Challenges like drinking a bottle of water, doing ten pushups—even a draw a carrot challenge. The idea of the carrot challenge is to draw a carrot with big eyes and a mouth, post it on your story, and nominate some friends.

No money is being raised through these challenges, and they have no purpose other than to puzzle the older users of the app.

In normal circumstances, these challenges would be a waste of time. But, because of the coronavirus pandemic, all anyone has is time. Time to draw carrots, time to drink water, time to spread positivity through a selfie.

I think many of them are funny, but with all this free time, people could be doing a million other things—cook a meal, read a book. Something. Anything.

I am not hating on the people who do these challenges. I think many of them are funny, but with all this free time, people could be doing a million other things—cook a meal, read a book. Something. Anything.

For some people, I’m sure that Instagram challenges are what they are passionate about and what inspires them to get out of bed in the morning. Good for them, but for the rest of us, everyone needs to slow down. People don’t need to do anything drastic, like start a podcast or write a book. Just sit down, and slow down.

Even though I am not the biggest fan of these challenges, they still brighten people’s spirits and take their minds off the current situation. They might not be a great use of people’s time, but in this climate, it seems to be exactly what people need—something weird, funny, and pointless.

Author: Connor Pinsk '23

Connor Pinsk joined The Index in the fall of 2019.