As the mobile technology in our pockets has developed, so has our ability to use these pieces of hardware for new things. First we could call each other, then send messages, now the opportunities are pretty much endless.
But as these abilities mounted, so did some crazes; actions involving our smartphones which had become massively popular. But which of these crazes do we loathe the most?
Back when we first had access to mobile phones, we had a set selection of ringtones to pick from, and you couldn’t add to it. That was until the development of devices in the mid-90s, which you could download tones of your choice.
This led to millions of annoying, obnoxious and downright awful ringtones blurting out from our mobile phone speakers, often at inopportune times. Songs quickly became more common from a mobile phone than your standard music TV channel.
This was all capped off by the introduction of the Crazy Frog, a craze which has thankfully died out.
It all started as a high pitched rip-off of a formula one engine, add to that an animated frog and suddenly you have a craze which swept the UK from top to bottom. One which made it to the number one spot of 9 different nation’s music charts.
Nowadays we’re thankful to say that having a stupid ringtone is quick to draw unsavoury glances from the general public. Whether you’re at home, on the bus or in the office, if your phone goes off and it’s blaring a crazy ringtone, it’s only shame you’re bringing your way now, not chuckles.
Can you understand the title above this sentence? If you were alive in the 90s you probably will. Thankfully, this isn’t such a common entity anymore.
‘Text Speak’ was designed as a way to make texting quicker, mainly because sending a simple text sentence was fairly laborious with physical keybad based phones, like the Nokia 3210.
This meant texts like: ‘Hi, how are you? What have you been up to?’ turned into ‘Hi, hws u? wubu2?’
Don’t get us wrong, even this writer uses some shortened phrases during text messaging to this day, common appearances are normally ‘wbu?’ for ‘what about you?’ or ‘wuu2?’ for ‘what are you upto?’. But using phrases like this for every word has become more of a task to read than it’s worth.
Put it this way, when you start typing emails and Facebook posts with this sort of language, you’ve gone too far!
Started by a couple of bored schoolboys over a decade ago, planking took off for real back in 2011, getting people to lie down in weird places, and have a smartphone picture of them taken and subsequently shared through their phone.
At first it began with people lying on desks or chairs, having a little giggle about it and then getting back to work. But when it erupted into a competitive body part measuring contest is when it became annoying and dangerous.
People began lying flat in roads, on cars, and in some cases even on railway lines. In fact, the craze was even attributed to several worldwide deaths thanks to its sheer stupidity. One youngster was killed trying to plank on his balcony, another sustained injuries planking in traffic.
Thankfully this craze has long gone; hopefully it won’t be making a return anytime soon.
Another craze gone wrong, NekNominations were found saturating Facebook feeds back in 2012 and 2013. The craze involved mixing a drink and downing it in one fell swoop, which in moderation isn’t too much of an issue.
Many university students took to the craze immediately, downing a can of beer, or maybe three consecutive shots, something which is likely to cause a hangover, but little other real threat.
However, as always things were taken too far by a good few people, with some participants mixing abhorrent amounts of booze with things like tobacco, coffee and other food stuffs, which caused fairly serious health concerns.
One participant was charged with animal cruelty, after he decided to one up his nominator by downing a drink which featured a live goldfish. As with the planking craze, several deaths were also caused by the craze, with a handful of participants suffering alcohol related deaths after taking challenges.
Last but not least by any means, Happy Slapping was a craze filmed on mobile phones, much like the Neck Nomination or Planking craze, which involved giving a friend a slap on the cheek and then sharing it online.
Little harm was caused at first, with many considering the craze as playful banter, but once it took off, it turned into little more than common assault.
No longer were people lovingly slapping friends as they were playing video games, now thugs were targeting random members of the public with shocking consequences.
Videos were posted online of a random cyclist being targeted by a group of thugs, another of a car passenger targeting women walking down the pavement. The craze quickly gained national attention.
Hundreds of arrests were made, with mobile phone videos offering evidence of crimes which resulted in multiple criminal charges being laid on participants.
The craze has since returned as a Vine sensation named ‘slap cam’ which is a more playful mockery of the fad, hopefully it doesn’t end up the way it did in previous years.
Written by Luke Hatfield