Social media increase: the rise of Instagram challenges

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Julia Hatcher, student-athlete at Michigan State, participated in an Instagram challenge, posting herself doing 10 pushups  and nominating others to do the same. Photo credit: @jhatchh Instagram

An increase in social media has been prominent during the coronavirus pandemic. This increase has led to users coming up with dozens of challenges to complete and post.

The social distancing challenges are now trending on Instagram because of the cancellation of sports, school and everything in between in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instagram challenges have been on the rise, where people post a challenge they were nominated to do, and then nominate others to complete the same challenge and so on.

“Right now I am enjoying the challenges,” said Kace Boland, Georgetown student. “We’re all feeling isolated and generally down, and the challenges are a fun way to uplift and interact with one another.”

Boland, along with many other Instagram users, has been relying on social media to stay connected during this isolation.

“I think everyone’s just bored, isolated and looking for social connected in the midst of our social distancing,” said Boland. “This translates to a lot more time online and on social media and these challenges actually do provide an uplifting distraction from the generally gloomy media.”

“I think they are a good way to pass time and I enjoy them because the ones I have done usually pertain to my interests, like working out,” said Julia Hatcher, Michigan State student-athlete. “It’s a motivational way to stay connected.”

These challenges on Instagram include sports related challenges such as the post-a-bucket challenge, #letthekidsplay challenge, favorite sports moment challenge, game-face challenge and see-10-send-10 pushup challenge.

“I did the game-face challenge and the favorite track moment challenge,” said Tyra Hunt, student-athlete at Michigan State. “I think it’s interesting to see people post either their favorite moments, their game face or just seeing them in action doing the sport they love, since we can’t participate right now.”

Tyra Hunt, student-athlete at Michigan State participated in a Instagram challenge, posting her favorite track moment and nominating others to do the same. Photo credit: @tyrajhunt Instagram

Challenges also range from drawing challenges to the favorite Bible verse challenge to the 10 beautiful women challenge, intended to spread positivity in a time of angst.

“I think all of the challenges are really fun because they are all on different subjects, which makes you think and look at different things,” said Tory Ozment, Michigan State student-athlete. “I also think they are fun because they may help you connect with friends you haven’t talked to or seen in a while and may even help you strengthen relationships while social distancing.”

Increased down-time has been a major factor in the increase in social media.

“I have been on social media so much more than usual, since I won’t be in class or practice for the majority of my day, I spend a lot of time on Instagram or Snapchat,” said Hunt.

“The social distancing has increased the amount of time I spend on social media due to my increased down time,” said Emmanuel Hibbler, associate director of strength and conditioning at the University of Arkansas. “It has also been an easier way to keep current with updates and things going on during this crazy time.”

Overall, the social media challenges and increase has been a common way to cope with the current pandemic.

“I feel like social media provides me with a platform to connect with others, which is something I am definitely missing right now,” said Boland.

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