Planking Craze: Another Internet Fad with Deadly Consequences

Planking is the latest Internet craze to sweep the world. So what is it? A person lies horizontally flat in a perfect horizontal line, and then balances on some precarious objects. According to reports, “Twenty-year-old Acton Beale fell to his death from a high-rise building when he tried to ‘plank’ on a balcony railing.” It gained its popularity in Australia, and if you look at it, it doesn’t seem as dangerous as other Internet fads like “happy slapping” or “ghost riding the whip.” Happy slapping was a fad in the UK where someone would slap a stranger in the face while another person recorded it on a cellular phone. Here in the U.S., ghost-riding the whip (the whip is slang for car) is an automotive stunt where people put their car in gear then hop out of the car and dance on the roof or next to the car.

Planking, on the other hand, seems more like flag pole sitting. It looks cute, and rather harmless. However, like with any dare, the dares get riskier and riskier. Ultimately, the pole-sitting record holder sat on a pole for 439 days. Likewise, planking poses are being done in more and more precarious situations, today’s sadly ending in a death.

So what’s the upside of having a video go viral from being “that guy” — the crazy one that will do anything at a party? A little fame. According to the chronicle AU, “The central point is that people want to have their five minutes of fame,” Dr. Hickey said. “Previously the only people to gain this sort of attention have been celebrities.”

Fame yes, but there are other memes that don’t involve fame that are also popping up. Memes are Internet ideas that spread virally, from getting “rickrolled” to “LOL cats.” Currently, we’re in the midst of two food memes: the cupcake and the bacon memes. There are bacon-wrapped hot dogs, bacon candy, bacon shirts — we’re bacon crazy. As diabetes is on the rise, the bacon craze is ironic to say the least. So in part, maybe these people do want fame, but as the memes become part of our culture, maybe what they’re really striving for is to fit in.



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  • Planking?? Who thought of this stupid ass Ideal?? People get a real life be at peace with yourselves.. Dont think of sick shit to do because you think your in Jack Ass the move…

  • I don’t see the big deal, riding skate boards, bikes, roller skates/blades have been around for a long time, and they are just as dangerous, if not more dangerous than this.

  • I can only assume that some man came up with this idea and his last words were, “Hold my beer and watch this!”

  • Why people think this dangerous is beyond me now if he or she were to “plank” on the edge of a cliff or skyscraper then i could see it being dangerous.What it looks like to me is that a bunch of REALLY bored kids trying to think it cool to lie uncomfortably on objects. HEY here’s an idea maybe this will catch on, let have the parents of these bored kids actually spend some time with them.So we won’t have to waste time hearing about theses stupid acts of boredom. Come on people it’s time to take back the power and control of your children! You are the parent!

  • Wow people…really! So many things that we do as a society are dangerous when taken to an extreme or done in excess. This is harmless for 99.9% of the people who do this. It’s funny, silly, even a bit stupid…SO WHAT! Lets look back a few decades and see how many people you could fit in a phone booth, what about a Volkswagen bug? Remember the Chinese Fire Drill. Lighten up people, stop showing your age. Oh, by the way, I am a 45 year old man who has planked with his 18 year old daughter for fun. I am a successful IT Systems Manager and she is a University student 😛

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