The internet is full of trends that come and go as soon as there is something else new out. Due to the fast spread of apps like TikTok, each week there are new trends to follow. However, back in the early 2010s, when a trend was kicking off, it would last for several months, if not years. For those that remember the good old times, let’s take a drive down the throwback alley of internet trends.
Ice Bucket Challenge
Amongst the many challenges that have flooded the internet over the last decade, the Ice Bucket Challenge stands out. For an unknown reason at the time, many videos of people pouring ice over their bodies started becoming viral in 2014. Soon after, the activity became part of an ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) awareness campaign, raising over $115 million for the ALS Association. This resulted in the research team making a significant discovery in their fight against the disease.
Online quizzes are one of the most long-lasting trends that seem to have existed since the beginning of the internet. There was a time when almost everyone you knew was filling in questionnaires to find out what kind of tree they were or what their favorite color said about their personality. Now, even quizzes have gone meta. For example, ExpressVPN’s online quiz allows people to find out their technological age based on past surveys about tech usage amongst various groups of people. It is not about answering ridiculous questions anymore; it is about finding out something useful while having fun.
Gangnam Style is probably one of the most annoying yet catchy internet trends. Released in 2012, when everyone was worried the end of the world was coming, the music video went immediately viral and became an internet meme. Gangnam Style had a major impact on popular culture worldwide and was once the most viewed YouTube video, overtaking Baby by Justin Bieber. Social platforms were saturated with flash mobs that included the song and dance and it was even recognized as a ‘force for world peace’ by UN representatives.
The Harlem Shake
The Harlem Shake, another famous, albeit slightly irritating, the trend is described by some as the best internet challenge of the decade. Popularised by the YouTuber Filthy Frank in 2013, this viral internet meme was everywhere. Everyone was trying to jump on that bandwagon and film themselves while dancing to the titular song. Even big companies like Red Bull, KFC, and Lego implemented the famous meme in their marketing campaigns, which only led to its further growth.
Experts believe that the reason people get so hooked up on viral trends and challenges is the hive mentality that the internet spreads. Although possibly true, these memes have also brought people from different backgrounds and various countries together. Someone might not know how to speak your mother tongue, but they sure will know how to do the Harlem Shake.