Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Assignment #5 Melissa Russi

The Cinnamon Challenge

The cinnamon challenge became a very popular challenge that escalated into an internet sensation beginning in the early 2000s. With thousands of videos uploaded to Youtube and other video blogs, the cinnamon challenge reached a widespread audience. The challenge involves the victim attempting to swallow a spoon full of cinnamon, within a minute, without inhaling it or consuming it with liquids. Although this task seems fairly simple, it is physically impossible. The earliest attempt was recorded in 2001by Michael Buffington and Erik Goodlad. The video was uploaded onto a blog which was later discovered by Jason Kotke and made viral. The first YouTube video to feature the challenge was created in 2006, followed by several others. The challenge became increasingly popular due to the entertainment value when watching how different people react after eating a spoon full of cinnamon; coughing a cloud of red powder, throwing it up, screaming, or drenching one’s mouth with a big glass of water. The fact that it seems like a fairly simple and easy challenge in itself is also an appealing factor as people are determined to complete it.  Search entries gained its highest activity in October 2007. One of the biggest video hits was uploaded in 2011 by Anna Diaz, racking up over 3.9 million views in the first two months. The challenge hit its peak interest, however in February of 2012 according to Google Trends. The challenge has several Q&A threads, a Wikipedia article, Facebook fan pages, an entry in the Urban Dictionary, featured on myth busters and on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel. It also gained widespread notoriety with multiple studies being done linking the challenge to medical complications including throat irritation, lung scarring, and emphysema. In one year alone, hundreds of kids required hospitalization after doing the cinnamon challenge. There have not been any other known memes to have originated from the challenge, but it still continues to be a popular activity on social media.


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