It’s day 16 of India’s lockdown and we can safely say that everyone’s bored. The bars are closed, movie theatres are out of the question, and shopping malls look like ghost towns. But as they say, idle hands make the best viral challenges, and there are plenty to come out of this isolation period. Here are some of the popular social media trends that have kept us from descending into utter boredom while we social distance in our homes.
Overnight, it felt as though foamy cups of coffee had taken over our collective social media feeds. (Because why would you just make a plain cup of coffee when you could spend an extra 20 minutes making it Instagrammable).
Dalgona coffee trend originated in South Korea and is named after a kind of toffee-like candy that is popular in the country (though, as many have pointed out, the method of making the coffee is remarkably similar to Indian and Pakistani Phenti Hui or beaten coffee). Dalgona coffee hits all the marks of a solid at-home food trend — it’s easy to make, requires only three ingredients and it’s very Instagrammable. Instant coffee powder and sugar are mixed with hot water, and beaten until a caramel-coloured soft whip forms. The thick foam is then topped onto a glass of milky coffee (or just straight milk in some cases) before it’s photographed and then consumed.
Banana bread and sourdough
People have also turned to baking to while away the lockdown (and also get some freshly-baked goods in the process). The banana bread trend saw everyone finally using those ripened bananas they bought a week ago but couldn’t possibly finish eating.
And as some cities reported severe shortages of yeast, some tried their hands at sourdough starters, which is used to make sourdough bread. (However, given that “feeding” your starter requires a lot of flour, perhaps during a pandemic when essential items are limited is not the best time for this particular hobby).
We’re all a bit starved for company and what better way to socialise than getting to know your friends on the internet a bit better! The Bingo challenge asks a series of questions in a Bingo-style grid that you can answer and then pass along for others on social media to check out.
The Jonas Brothers are doing it. Jacqueline Fernandes is doing it. Alia Bhatt did it for her birthday. The gesture (or emoji challenge) sounds simple enough — a series of emojis show up on your screen and you mimic them in order for the camera. (As we said earlier, everyone is very bored).
The wash-your-hands challenge
A trend with a message! ‘Wash your hands’ became one of the earliest mantras to prevent the spread of infection in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. As global health experts advised doing it for at least 20 seconds, many, including celebrities, jumped on the bandwagon to encourage people to wash their hands properly. Here’s Gloria Gaynor with her rendition of ‘I Will Survive.’
Choose your quarantine house
Would you rather be stuck in quarantine with Virginia Woolf and Susan Sontag? Or Luna Lovegood and Dobby the House Elf? How about Black Widow and that raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy? This challenge let’s you pick your own isolation mates from stars to fictional characters.
Forgotten what it's like to dress up? The sari challenge asks participants find a solo photo of themselves wearing a sari and post it on social media, while asking others to take part in the challenge as well.