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Is the Crate Challenge making real-world problems a second thought?

The Crate Challenge or #CRATECHALLENGE has recently gone viral ina series of videos on social media.

Creatives and alike have been filming videos of them walking up and down staircases set up by milk crates; their attempts, however, are often unsuccessful and people ended up falling off the structures and injuring themselves.

As if life is simply too boring to sit around, people just have to create some messiness.

milk crate challenge trend
Image via abcNEWS.

Challenges like this have been all over social media – TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Slightly adapted versions have come one after another. Regardless of the many chaoses around the world at present time, making a crate challenge video seems to be a more urgent concern for many people.

How did this all start?

The #CrateChallenge begins

According to Know Your Meme, the crate challenge first appeared on social media on June 23, 2011. JoyRidersTV Bonus Footy posted a video titled “Gun falls off 6 Milk Crates” on YouTube.

Now, ten years later, Facebook user Billy Joe posted “two videos of people attempting the earliest form of the challenge” before it took off as an official internet trend.

Following Billy Joe, Facebook users Kenneth Waddell and Jordan Browne also posted live videos of people doing the crate challenge in a public park. Both videos have received a great number of views, reactions, and shares.

More and more people are caught up in the challenge across social media. The popularity of the challenge eventually solidified the #creatchallenge trend.   

As the trend becomes more widespread over time, people have also become more adventurous in their attempts as well. The crates have become higher and participants like Instagrammer  @kizzykeri even did the whole challenge in heels.

@kizzykeri is one of the successful cases in this challenge, but most of the time, people fall off the crates in a not so graceful position.

The worst milk crate challenge attempts

Speaking of the crate challenge failures, you have got to watch these hilarious and bad examples.

This kid just couldn’t wait, so he decided to give it a kick to spice up the process.

What comes along with the failures?

The crate challenge might be fun to watch, but it is not so fun for challengers who have fallen off the crates and hurt themselves.

Often, the injuries are minor, it is simply disturbing to see people crash landing on their faces, chests, or backs. For some people, however, the challenge has turned out bad.

There is no need to repeat the potential damages that a horrible fall could do to the human body. You are no gymnast people, why play with your balance on such an unstable foundation?

Ever since the trend started on social media, challengers usually failed their attempts and fell off the crates. Bystanders in the video just laughed off the failures and moved on. Over time, people’s interest in the trend has grown more likely into this expecting to see the challengers fail and their dramatic landings.

It’s entertaining to see different versions of crate challenges out there. However, some people did end up hurting themselves.

A woman from Dallas, for example, was badly injured after falling off the crates in her attempt. She has sustained severe injuries and remains in critical condition. But no, she has not died.

Another horrific incident also happened at a challenge. A shooting took place during a ‘Milk Crate Challenge’ gathering in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three people were reportedly shot and killed during a drive-by shooting, according to BET.

Bad injuries that may last a lifetime

Dr. Shawn Anthony, an orthopedic surgeon, commented that injuries caused by falling during the crate challenge can include broken wrists, shoulder dislocations, ACL and meniscus tears, as well as spinal cord injuries.

Also, why is it a bad decision to do this to your body at a time like this? As Covid-19 cases are resurging, many hospitals across the U.S have already reported their insufficient space and staff due to the increase in Covid-19 patients.

Therefore, if you do end up going to the hospital to fix your wounds, you might not even be able to receive prompt treatment.

Seriously though, what is going on?

Why is it now becoming a common thing for people to gain pleasure from watching other people suffering? The Crate Challenge is a dangerous attempt, but there are still people doing it every day.

People who watch those who do the challenge, additionally, have no intention of interrupting the event either. Well, I assume, people find it a cool thing to do.

People’s continuous consumption of these dangerous challenge videos on social media, unfortunately, has encouraged the development of online toxic culture.

The crate challenge has unquestionably reflected many problems in the society we live in. One, it reveals this toxicity in social media that it is okay to do things that are unhealthy as long as they are ‘the trends.’

Two, viewers are used to turning a blind eye to what’s been happening because they are just here to consume content.

crate challenge meme
Image via memebase.

“Instead of feeling pressure to perform for our friends or family, many crave impressing peers, or really anyone, who’s part of their online community. It’s all about likes, shares, views.”

Kiara Alfonseca, abcnews.

The Crate Challenge is not the only toxic trend out there. Others like the previous “Tide Pod challenge”, in which participants consumed Tide’s laundry detergent pods, and the “Blackout challenge”, in which a person chokes themselves until passing out are also dangerous stunts people do on social media to attract more attention and views.

TikTok banning the content

Yes, TikTok is certainly alerted by what has been happening recently. Realizing how dangerous the attempt could turn out, TikTok has disabled the search for “milk crate challenge” on its platform and removed some videos of the challenge.

“TikTok prohibits content that promotes or glorifies dangerous acts, and we remove videos and redirect searches to our Community Guidelines to discourage such content. We encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behavior whether online or off.” 


How are we feeling about this crate challenge, though? It’s silly, right, but people are still going to do it.

There are real issues going on in the world: climate change, the chaos in Afghanistan, the Delta variant… While people here are risking their lives to get some views and attention, there are people out there who would trade everything they have just to be safe and alive.

The worst part about this challenge and alike is that they are numbing our senses. People are so caught up in impressing others on social media trends that they are becoming unaware of the actual crises and chaos happening in real life.

It’s impossible to stop social media, as it’s so powerful. But what we can do is to be more aware of what we consume and be more conscious of what we post online. Because you never know if a wrong comment would create a wrong impact and kick up another toxic trend.