YEAR IN REVIEW: Social Media Sensations

By Chris Acampora

Whether you liked 2018 or not, you have to agree that there was a lot to laugh about. Videos, pictures and memes that went viral captured our attention and provided much of the humor. Here’s a look at the funniest things on the Internet and social media in 2018:

Selfie Kid

People always find something to make fun of about the Super Bowl halftime show, and 2018 was no different. Way back in February, a Scituate native was dubbed “Selfie Kid” for his pic with halftime performer Justin Timberlake — and the shot of him looking at his phone immediately after. It was extremely awkward to watch, and inspired countless memes trying to answer the question: what was he looking at on his phone?

Tide Pod Challenge

Everyone knows the joke, but where did it even come from? The exact origin is hard to find, but the whole Tide Pod Challenge controversy started after memes surfaced referring to the colorful detergent pods as “forbidden fruit” and making jokes about eating the toxic product. The joke took off mostly because of its absurd nature, eventually turning into the mock “Tide Pod Challenge.” Adults were up in arms, thinking it was a real trend that put young children in danger. No, nobody ever intended for anyone to actually eat Tide Pods. Making it even worse, many people made food items with the pattern of a Pod. The joke did point out, however, that packing hazardous laundry detergent to look like candy can be very dangerous.

Walmart Yodeling Kid

 This video of a kid yodeling in the middle of an Illinois Walmart raised more questions than answers. Why is a kid singing (“yodeling”) in the middle of a Walmart? Why are people gathering to watch? Why is someone filming? What song is he singing? The video eventually spurred a remix (that was surprisingly good) which kept “yodeling kid” on people’s minds for quite a while. The boy was Illinois native mason Ramsey, and the song, Hank Williams’ Lovesick Blues,  saw a rise in popularity on streaming services. People liked the boy so much that Walmart even invited him back to perform, and he even got a record deal– releasing his own song a few months later.

The Circle Game

It seemed everyone wanted to trick you into looking at their fingers in a circle on their leg; if you did, they’d get to punch you on the shoulder. The trick was apparently a thing in the 1980s, and had come back. Now with the Internet and computers, though, people were able to sneak the symbol into more places than on their leg. Photos circulated with hidden circles in the sneakiest of places, turning them into puzzles. We’re definitely sure this trend caused a lot of sore shoulders around the world and at HHS.

Presidential Alerts

Back in October, the government sent out the first test of its nationwide emergency alert system. It was a strange occurrence to have almost all smartphones across the country go off at the same time. Despite being called a “Presidential Alert,”  the messages don’t come from President Trump. This, however, didn’t stop people from turning it into a meme, humorously creating what they thought would be alerts  important enough to send to the entire country. 

Yanny or Laurel?

A reincarnation of “the dress” that people couldn’t tell was white and gold (the correct answer) or black and blue, this audio clip  rocked the Internet. When someone heard it on a vocabulary website, they shared it and started one of the most divisive arguments of 2018. Hysteria ensued as people picked sides and tried to figure out how the audio clip could appear to be playing different words for different people. Many people questioned what was wrong with their hearing or what was going on with the world. In the end it was determined that some people’s brains would just process the clip one way or the other. Listening to the word with an altered pitch allowed everyone to hear both sides of the word, which was originally meant to be laurel. Phew, world crisis averted!


Of course there were plenty of other funny things that happened in 2018, but it would take an encyclopedia to record them all. Hopefully someday there will be historians dedicated to these viral videos, trends and memes so we don’t have to explain them to our kids. The year had a lot of funny moments, and we’re hopeful that will be true for 2019 as well. Remember to try to not take yourself so seriously this year; there will be plenty to laugh about.



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