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A trend that began in the year 2016 has caused severe life-threatening health issues for this generation’s teenagers. Teenagers are taking Tide Pods as jellyfish looking candy to bite on or eat. There have been more than four hundred incidents of this trend getting out of control in the past 2 years. Our future hope now is to prevent such “savage” trends.
Anthropology is the study of large groups in a long period of time using a qualitative method. To investigate, anthropologists can interview people from different generations or cultures and ask questions related to their lives. To analyze such cases, an anthropologist may ask: Are teenagers of this generation bound to less obligations compared to those of the earlier generation leading them to interact with new destructive sources of entertainment? Teenagers in earlier centuries were considered adults and were sent to work to earn money for their families. In this generation, most teenagers are on social media. They have half of the responsibilities that were given to them a few generations ago. They mostly have spare time and so explore new trends because they’re bored. This can be an anthropological question because it is looking over the two generations and comparing how much it has changed.
To investigate this case, an interviewer may call up a person from the previous generation and a teenager from this generation and ask both “what they do or did as teenagers during their free time?” The person from the previous generation can tell how much spare time they had and what they did along with the person from this generation. This can help the interviewer compare the two generations and see the differences or similarities between their teenage lives. Another anthropology question can be: Do people naturally tend to follow others without even knowing if they want to or not? If we look at our past generations, people naturally tend to follow others while they are developing their brain, because that is what they are being taught. For example, the fad diet, it was a trend in the 90s, where everyone naturally tended to follow a certain type of diet to look slim, because everyone assumed looking slim was better than looking thick.
Even in the 21st century most of us tend to go on diets to be fit because for a long time that’s what has been the main focus when it comes to how our bodies should look. When a person is born they don’t know anything, they have no idea of what’s right or wrong, but they adapt from others and develop a certain type of mentality because of their surroundings. Therefore, an anthropologist may ask such question because it focuses on looking at the long-term period and how human’s brain develops while growing up. To investigate for an interview anthropologist can ask a question related to what makes them the person who they are today? Or what are some of the things they adapted while growing up? Another question that can be asked can be: Do cultures provoke people to accept daring challenges to seem tough? While growing up most of us are taught to be courageous, strong, and to never give up. For example, in the Indian culture, men are taught not to cry because that is a symbol of weakness and men are to be tough to look manly. This leads them to sometimes face depression or provokes them to take the wrong path just like the Tide Pod challenge. This can be an anthropologist’s question because it is focusing on cultures and what each culture provokes that can later on affect how people handle situations in their lives. An interviewer may interview a person from such culture and ask them “what cultural and moral values they inherited as they were growing up and how they use it in their daily lives?” This could help get the interviewer an idea of how much culture can affect a person’s life and mentality to deal with situation in life.Psychology is the study of small groups or individuals over a short period of time using quantitative method. A psychologist may investigate a person’s life or history by looking at their past traumas or childhood memories, through case studies.
For the Tide Pod trend a psychologist can ask: Do people take part in these trends due to self-destructive behavior? People can sometimes be depressed or have too much anxiety. The cause of such behavior can be their childhood trauma or any issues going on in their current lives related to family problems, financial problems, or school problems. These situations can sometimes lead to harming themselves as a way to relieve stress or to punish themselves for the mistakes they think they have made. This could be a psychological question because it focuses on the past trauma of an individual’s life. One’s past could provoke them to make wrong choices further on in life. In a case study, one can ask questions about how the person is with his/her family at home? Where they spent most of their time? Or with whom they spent their time? This could give information based on his/her daily life to identify why they take such step.
A psychologist can also ask: Do people take part in this trend because they want to seem “cool” in front of their friends. Many teenagers take such actions so they can seem “cool” in front of others to impress them. Some find the need to impress others very seriously. Some take such actions to attract more people towards them and so by accepting such dramatic and risky trend, they could have thought it can help them be more with people rather than just by themselves. An interesting question to ask can be: Do people take such trend under the influence of others? Since elementary school, students are taught about peer pressure and how it can affect them. Peer pressure is a pressure on an individual to take certain actions that they may not want to take. As the news spread of the tide pod trend being injurious to health, people started being aware of it, yet most tended to accept the challenge. Could it be because someone else is behind it? This is a psychological question because it is focusing on what can be going on in an individual’s life for such cases. It is looking at only one individual’s personal issues and not large groups. Through a case study, a psychologist can look at the person’s school history. They can look at the type of friends the person has made and with what group does he/she spend time with: extroverts or introverts? This can help them find out how the person is with his/her friends and if her/his friends are the ones who are outgoing and loud or who are the quiet type. They can also find out how the person’s school record is to see if they’ve ever been suspended or got into fistfights.Sociology is the study of a large number groups and institutions over a short period of time using quantitative method. One method a sociologist can use to investigate could be by taking surveys.
A question that can be asked relating to the Tide Pod trend can be: Do people take such risks to fit in with others? Sometimes people feel isolated from the world and try to fit in. It can get out of hand and so a few can end up putting their lives at risk. In some cases people are not comfortable adjusting with the society, but still do so, due to judgments being made by the others. For example, since most people respect those who pursue their academics, peopletend to go in the medical field or business instead of the arts, because they fear the society may look down upon them. This is based on sociology because it is looking at how people stabilize within the society and it is looking at a large number of groups over a short period of time.
For the investigation, a survey can be taken for such cases to find out the average of people who would fear society, or not care and do whatever they want. Questions that could be on the survey, ‘How many people would choose to pursue their dreams if it wasn’t for the society and how many people would go into what others prefer as a stabilized future?’ Another question can be: ‘Do people take such trends to gain fame?’ A video on social media can get up to 10 million or more views, and the more views there are the more the person is likely to be known. People try new ideas to display on social media, such as Instagram, Twitter, or even Facebook, everyday. Around the world up to 5 billion videos are seen everyday. A Tide Pod challenge can take such step because they didn’t just want to be known within their community but be known globally to earn fame. Taking this trend could have grabbed the attention of many people and could have made viral videos for many, the way the trend became viral. This can be a sociology question because it is related to not just an individual but also many large groups of people who have posted videos of them taking the challenge, and also because it is related to social media. A survey can be taken for such question that can ask, ‘how many videos are you likely to view or like on a daily basis: below 100, over 100’. This can help come up with a hypothesis of how so many people are on social media and so there could be more chances of getting fame by it. A sociologist can also ask: ‘Do people take trends like these to make money off social media?’ People often get tired of their jobs, working everyday; following a routine can sometimes be a pain.
Unfortunately, we cannot stop, otherwise who will pay for our expenses? People can’t stop but they can come up with new ideas to make money. One of the easiest ways of earning money can be earning it off social media, such as YouTube. Youtubers can make 68% of ad revenue once their channel links to Google AdSense. Per view, Youtubers can make up to 0.18 cents: 1000 views can equal to 180 dollars which can be equal to working part time at McDonalds for up to 12 hours. Some people become Youtubers for a living. They take making videos as source of entertainment for their job for which they sometimes try new trends such as the Tide Pod trend. The more foolish the videos are, the more people are attracted to them. This can be a sociology question because it is focusing on social media and the advantages of it that a large number of people get. A Survey can help investigate by asking, ‘which method would you take to earn money: Social media, or everyday jobs?’ This can help measure the number of people who would choose social media or real jobs to earn money easily to help answer our question.
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