Tide pod meme takes on serious implications


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An internet joke regarding consumption of laundry detergent pods has taken a serious turn in the early days of the new year.

In a prime example of taking a joke and running it totally into the ground, the internet has ruined laundry detergent packets—known commercially as Tide pods—for everyone else.

Starting out as an internet joke, this year’s Tide pod fiasco was initially a satirical meme regarding the warning labels on Tide pod containers advising parents to take preventative measures to keep children from ingesting the detergent packets, first released in 2012.

The premise of the meme is that the packaging and coloring of the detergent pods makes them resemble a delectable candy or “forbidden fruit” that humans must resist their primal urge to consume.

This bit of millennial comedy has gained a considerable internet following and has far surpassed its original satirical nature. The “Tide pod challenge” has since become a real-life thing in which teens challenge one another to consume one of the toxic packets or even eat them on their own accord.

According to the American Association of Poison Control centers, there were over 12,000 calls related to exposure to detergent packs made to poison control centers across the nation in 2017.

In an effort to discourage participation in the “Tide pod challenge,” the company recently posted a public service announcement featuring Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots on its social media pages discouraging the consumption of the detergent pods.

One can only hope that this fad dies out sooner rather than later, but until then, consumption of a toxic Tide pod should be reported to the national poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 or by texting POISON to 797979.