Communicate reminisces over one of the earliest and possibly most dangerous internet trends - Planking.
(Cover Photo Credits- Wikipedia)
Look we're living in crazy times right now. 2020 was a whirlwind of a year and the first week of 2021 isn't going exactly like many of us hoped it would. So, Communicate figured escaping from all the noise outside and looking back at a memorable internet trend, Planking. If you can't recall what it is, here's a video to refresh your memory.
The history around the origins of this trend is very messy. Planking's popularity originated in South Australia, where an Austrailian named Sam Weckert created a Facebook page callled "Official Planking" to upload photos of him and his friends planking in different places. He claims to have even coined the term "Planking". Once the local media picked it up, the trend began to spread like wildfire all over the internet and pretty soon, everyone was doing it. “It didn't really blow up until a few local radio stations got hold of it, ran competitions, and it grew very quickly,” Weckert told the BBC in 2011.
This is where the history of the origins start to get a little messy. Gary Clarkson and Christian Langdon, two friends who reside in Somerset, England, claimed that they started lying face-down in public spaces in the late '90s, out of boredom. They called this masterstroke the “Lying Down Game" and created a Facebook page in 2007 which still remains active, after years of passing the idea along to school friends, who then passed it along to their friends who also wanted to be in on the joke. The joke of lying down.
While numerous other claims have been brought up since, the trend was growing in popularity and many celebrities and popular personalities began to get in on it. But after a while, the examples just started to get wierder and wierder. Some people began planking in dangerous spots such as on balcony railings, cliff edges, and plummeting heights. According to Nate Lanxon, Editor of Wired.co.uk, in an article in the BBC, " The essence of planking is not lying "stiff as a board" but juxtaposing it with an unexpected place. Exhibitionism has been around since the dawn of time. YouTube and digital cameras just takes it into a whole new realm. The ultimate goal is for your photo to become the most popular."
But after the media began to report some deaths due to planking in dangerous spots, the trend slowly began to die down. Google searches for the term tanked, bottoming out in 2013. Planking slowly began drifting into obscurity and now remains a fable memory of a time when things were much simpler.