Millennials and Social Media, a Deadly Mix?
Sun Lee

09 February 2018

Millennials are taking part in a dangerous and bizarre activity. The "Tide Pod challenge" has gone viral across social media since January and involves young people filming themselves biting on a Tide Pod. Meanwhile, the numbers don't show a dramatic increase in reported cases of actual consumption.

Perhaps a far more interesting and real hysteria is the moral panic that ensued among the public in reaction to the challenge. The US Consumer Product Safety Commision issued a warning against consuming Tide Pods, Tide recruited football player Rob "Gronk" Gronkowski in their newest advertisement to tell consumers Tide Pods are only used for laundry, and the public decried and lamented the stupidity of millennials. 

In his article, Harry Dyer argues that social media has introduced an era of 'omniopticon' in which "the general public are now competing with celebrities to be heard and observed." The omniopticon deviates from Bentham's panopticon or a synopticon in which there is a clear-cut division between the observed and the observing, whether the few powerless are observed by the powerful, or this relation is reversed and the powerful—celebrities and politicians—are scrutinized by the general public. 

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