What Is The Tide Pod Challenge and Why Are Teens Doing It?

HPBC Youth Corner

With each new year comes new challenges and new surprises. A challenge that has certainly come as a surprise in the past few weeks is the emergence of the Tide Pod challenge. For those who may not have heard of it, the “challenge” is to eat the colorful Tide detergent pods as if they were candy. For the majority of the population, the risks and dangers of such a “challenge” are clear and we avoid the health risks involved. This begs the question then, why is this challenge catching on, especially with teenagers?

As society becomes more and more connected, we’re learning the consequences of being able to instantly push content out to the entire world. This connectedness in combination with a deep seated desire for confirmation creates situations where people will do just about anything for attention. We’ve seen this before with the gallon challenge, the cinnamon challenge, and many other forms; the Tide Pod “challenge” isn’t the first of these fads, and it certainly won’t be the last. As long as it continues to draw up views and garner likes and favorites, these types of videos will continue to be made and new trends will pop up.

How do we respond to this then? I think the first thing to do is make sure we’re reacting with hearts that look past the immaturity of the actions to see the motivation behind the actions. Often, the person who partakes in such a challenge is broken and looking for validation from strangers on the internet. When we understand their brokenness, we can look to our own brokenness and show love toward that person, as we’d see in the life of Christ. And while the lepers that Jesus interacted with may not have been acting as foolish as these young people are today, they needed His love just as much as then as these people do today, and as much as you and I do as well. So when we see the Tide Pod challenge or any other challenge, or any other thing that gives evidence of a broken life, may we have a heart for these people to come to know Christ and seek fulfillment in him, rather than in the recognition of any person on earth. 

With the love of Christ,

Pastor Nathan