Kendall Aronson, Campus Carrier Arts & Living Editor
The times we are living in do not feel real. The news is constantly filled with headlines which previously would have been on the Onion, our politicians seem to do whatever they want to without any retribution and it seems that every day we are forced to reconsider our news on the world in which we live. One of these such stories is about people eating Tide Pods.
Tide Pods have been around since 2012, and they have continued to be popular. Tide has marketed them as small but powerful, and there are different varieties of them for those with sensitive skin and ones with added Febreze.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, two children and six adults died from consuming the laundry pods between when they were released and 2017. And you read that correctly: more adults died from eating Tide Pods than children did in the last five years.
My first interactions with the Tide Pods were when I went to college. Both my roommate and I had Tide Pods which we used to do our laundry and they functioned well. I will admit that I found them fun to squish.
Their design is appealing, and some of my friends and I eventually broke one open into a sink to experience that. It was an anticlimactic endeavor, and afterwards we had to scrub the stuff off our hands for a while, so it wasn’t really worth the trouble.
I never considered the idea of eating the laundry detergent packages until I saw the ‘Forbidden Snacks’ memes. Those were funny, and I related to them on some degree, they do look like snacks, but it seems that people have taken the joke too far.
The “Tide Pod Challenge” involves individuals eating a Tide Pod on camera. There have been many other “challenges” of a somewhat similar nature during my lifetime of people doing something unpleasant on camera. Some, like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge have helped many people, and others like the Cinnamon Challenge are much more painful and unproductive. The Tide Pod Challenge is more than just painful, though.
The chemicals used in the laundry detergent have sent many individuals to the hospital with stomach and lung damage. They have also been known to cause seizures and induce comas, and in some cases they result in death. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that there have been 131 cases of intentional exposure to the Tide Pods since the beginning of 2018. Despite campaigns launched by Tide rallying against eating their product, and YouTube taking down any videos which show people ingesting the Tide Pods, people are still eating them.
The fact that this is happening is increasing my general disappointment towards society today. It is funny to talk about how delicious the Tide Pods would be to eat, but it is a joke. Having enough sanity and logical sense to not consume your concentrated laundry detergent would be good in this day and age. To address those who might be eating them directly, I have this to say: you are ruining Tide Pods for everybody. Please, don’t kill yourself for the meme.