Popular Social Media Challenges Of The Year So Far

#Viral #Trending #Challenge…social media has become an integral part of our lives. And lockdown or not, many social media challenges took the virtual world by storm. We look at 2020's best so far.

By Ashwin Dewan  • 10 min read

Popular Social Media Challenges Of The Year So Far
“Content is fire. Social media is gasoline.” Jay Baer, keynote speaker, emcee, author, and entrepreneur.

You have seemingly done it all in quarantine - danced to a TikTok video, whipped up a dalgona coffee, turned hairstylist for a day, learnt something new and baked some yummy banana bread. Is there anything left to do? Well, you could not be more wrong.

Welcome to the age of social media!

The next time you see your teen daughter walking around with a pillow tied with a belt, do not be alarmed! It is one of the many social media challenges that has taken the online world by storm. The past few months saw the real world in lockdown but the virtual world keeps rising up and bringing about the next challenge or trending post.

Ever so often, social media witnesses a viral trend or social challenge that sees a large number of people enthusiastically joining the bandwagon. While some manage to pull it off, others provide a humorous spectacle. Over the years, many challenges on social media have taken the world by storm…literally! Challenges such as the Ice Bucket Challenge, the Mannequin Challenge, the Kiki Challenge, etc., have proved to be an entertaining watch.

But that is in the past. In keeping with the current trend, we bring you seven social media challenges that are the pick of the lot in 2020.

Most popular social media challenges of 2020 so far

1. Safe Hands Challenge

Video courtesy: sachintendulkar

No prizes for guessing the aim of the challenge. Considering the whole world has been in a state of lockdown due to the coronavirus, it was only a matter of time before a challenge related to the virus emerged.

The Safe Hands challenge was the brainchild of the World Health Organisation (WHO) who launched the #safehandschallenge to urge people to practise safe, hygienic, handwashing techniques to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

The challenge was a big hit among the public. Soon celebrities and famous social media personalities took up the challenge by posting videos of them washing their hands for 20 seconds (as recommended by WHO).

2. The Saree Challenge

Twitter handle: Yami Gautam

Until a few weeks back, many would open their social media account to be inundated by posts of women in sarees. At first glance, you would probably be forgiven for thinking it is ethnic week or paying homage to the saree week. However, it was the popular saree challenge.

The challenge requires you to post a picture of yourself in a saree and then tag your friends to do the same. The challenge quickly went viral and social media users were treated to a number of lovely saree pictures. Interestingly, the men followed suit by posting a picture of themselves in a dhoti.

3. Pillow Challenge

Image courtesy: fashions.super

One of the strangest yet fashionable, and a tad humorous social media challenge that spread like wildfire in the month of April was the pillow challenge. Started by Instagram users @styledbynelli and @myforteisfashion, the challenge involved…hold your breath… strapping a pillow to one’s body with nothing else on and making a style statement.

From celebrities to social media influencers, from models to college teens and the girls next door, it seemed everyone was trying their hands at this challenge. Many accessorised the pillow with their favourite belts and shoes to match.

In case, you want to give it a go, just get yourself a white pillow. Welcome to the pillow challenge club!

4. Dalgona Coffee Challenge

Image courtesy: Ubistrot

Everyone has their own way of relishing coffee – some prefer it black without sugar, some like a dash of milk, and some, well…they are the fans of the newest coffee challenge – the Dalgona Coffee Challenge.

Inspired by a sugary toffee with a soft sponge-like texture known as the South Korean Dalgona candy, the challenge brought out the coffee maker in everyone. The coffee is a simple combination of icy milk at the bottom and a frothy layer of gooey coffee on the top.

The two-toned look and sugary taste made it an instant hit with people all over the world looking for their usual coffee fix.

If you have not jumped into the Dalgona Coffee Challenge bandwagon yet, we bring you the recipe to start with


  • Two tbs instant coffee
  • Two tbs sugar
  • Hot water (as required)
  • 1/2 cup of cold milk
  • Ice (as required)


  • In a large whisking bowl mix coffee, hot water two tablespoons, and sugar.
  • Whisk it until a frothy consistency.
  • For good results whisk it for a longer time. Then take a glass and add milk with ice.
  • Add the top frothy creme you made before.
  • If you do not take sugar in your coffee, the froth might not stay atop.

Your very own #DalgonaCoffee is ready

5. Shopping Bag Challenge

Image courtesy: isobel_oliviaxx

Such is the fickle nature of social media. Trends keep on changing every few days or weeks! Well, after the pillow challenge, it was the rise of the shopping bag challenge.

At first, the name may suggest clicking pictures of shopping bags. However, as the name suggests, the challenge requires people to fish out their shopping bags of varying sizes, shapes, and colours and using their creativity to wear them in style to make the ultimate fashion statement.

Many got out the shopping bags of famous brands and started posting photographs of them wearing it. While many chose to wear the shopping bag as a top, some wore them like pants and skirts.

6. Flip The Switch Challenge

Video courtesy: reddysameera

Flip The Switch Challenge is one of the most entertaining social media challenges to come by in a long time.

Here is how it’s done. One person stands in front of the mirror while the other remains in the background. The one who is standing behind starts dancing to the song Nonstop by American artist Drake, while the other one holds the camera. After a few seconds of dancing, the lights go off. When the lights come back on, the two people swap positions and so does the attire or, in some cases, even the environment. Sounds fun, right?

7. Patience Challenge

The Patience Challenge is a favourite with many especially parents. The challenge is cuteness overload, to say the least. Basically, a bowl of candy or a bar of chocolate or any sweet treat is kept in front of a baby while their parents instruct them to wait for a minute before eating.

The parents then go to another room and secretly film the challenge. Surprisingly, many babies have aced this challenge while a few impatient little ones have just dug right into the sweet treats.

2020 has been a tough and difficult year. The beauty of life is making sure it goes on. Social media may have its own advantages and disadvantages but challenges that pop up from time to time surely injects some cheerfulness and excitement to our new routines.

Which challenge are you up to today? 

Also read: How to use social media in learning

About the author:

Written by Ashwin Dewan on 16 June 2020.

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