By now, it’s no secret that a massive influx of Twitter’s most courageous contrarians and bravest soldiers have been going against the grain and using the app to boldly express their most uncommon and controversial beliefs.
I’m talking, of course, about the infamous “unpopular opinion” craze that’s been ironically skyrocketing in popularity and making a run for the most viral tweet format of all time.
This phenomenon, which has completely revolutionized the definitions of words like “unpopular” and “opinion,” is empowering young people all over the world to share their most contentious and unique viewpoints without the fear of being ostracized, mocked, or even “cancelled” for being overly unpopular.
On February 23rd, Twitter user Litty Jack shocked timelines all over the world by taking the controversial stance that it’s morally wrong to ruin someone’s day for no reason. Even though thousands of people surprisingly rewarded him with likes and retweets (possibly out of sympathy or irony), Jack admitted that it took a lot of strength to press send on an opinion that he knew was so unpopular and divisive. What he didn’t know, however, is that his heroic decision to pull the trigger on such a problematic tweet ended up serving as a catalyst for one of the hottest trends in Twitter’s history.
Being unpopular is currently so popular that people are even starting to tweet themed prompts or “editions” that peer pressure others to give their riskiest takes on a variety of specific topics.
Ranging from well-known topics like “chicken wings” to more niche and mysterious topics like “sex,” these tweets have been making gigantic waves on the platform and eliciting thousands of replies from Twitter’s quirkiest minds and edgiest antagonists.
For example, on Monday evening, a young woman named Chynna made a claim that was so preposterous that Twitter was left with no choice but to make her tweet go viral for being so exceptionally unpopular. After all, who else would actually believe that a salad dressing that can come in a variety of different flavors, styles, and brands doesn’t always taste the exact same?
How about this sweltering hot take from Jasmine? While “all ranch don’t taste the same” might come across as less of an unpopular opinion and more of an objective fact, she was still able to “wow” the Sauce Community with one of the most popular unpopular opinions on ranch dressing in Twitter’s history.
People were even going as far as conspiring that sex, the most intimate thing in the world that you can do with another human, is better with someone you like.
The absurdity doesn’t stop there.
The universal school of thought that it’s a respectful gesture to intentionally leave garbage behind in someone else’s car took an unexpected hit on Tuesday when Isaiah Salas, 19, boldly expressed his opinion that the act is actually not respectful or sanitary.
Gone are the days of automatically assuming that everyone wants you to deface their property with trash and waste. Now we have to consider the possibility that there are Isaiahs and Marcuses roaming around the world with their oddly unconventional expectations and opinions.
How about this young lady named Cara Smith who singlehandedly flipped the game on its head by bravely exclaiming that she prefers guys who are not alcoholic drug addicts with no ambitions?
There’s no denying that it’s a good thing that so many teens and young adults are finally breaking out of their shells and becoming comfortable with voicing their unpopular opinions, but what will happen if people start going too far? Psychologists and social media experts are fearful that if this trend continues to blow up like it has been, people will start suffering from detrimental effects to their social statuses and mental well-being. Although there’s no physical health risks to the Unpopular Opinion Fad, like there was with the Tide Pod Challenge, it certainly puts people in danger of getting cyber-bullied and shunned by their peers.
Take the two haunting examples above for starters. If people are already going as far as publicly advocating for hazardously unpopular concepts like friendship and justice, what’s next? I’m worried it’s only a matter of time before someone crosses the line when testing the limits of unpopularity and ends up paying the price.