Why Is Jumping Into Snow In Your Undies A Thing?

by Alicia Lu

Well, at least it's better than lighting yourself on fire. Yet another social media challenge is catching on, and this one may just be the most pointless one yet. People are now jumping into snow half-naked for the #BostonBlizzardChallenge, which is taking Boston by storm (no pun intended). Basically, if you live in Boston, you're challenged to strip down to your skivvies, jump into mounds of snow recently dumped by winter storm Juno, and post a video or pictures of it on social media. Oh, but not to raise money or awareness for a cause, just... because.

Earlier this week, Boston accumulated about two feet of snow in the much-anticipated (and, in some areas, much anticlimactic) Snowmageddon blizzard. So naturally, people should get nearly naked and jump into it, right? That's what popped into someone's head as they flung off their clothes, dove into a pile of snow, probably face-planting completely ungracefully, in the freezing cold, and documented it for posterity. Then that person posted it on social media and called it a challenge. And because challenges are like the new selfies, the idea caught on and became the full-fledged #BostonBlizzardChallenge. Man, humans must be really, really bored as a species.

I wonder if they know they're the literal embodiment of this meme:

So, as far as recent popular challenges go, it's somewhere between the well-intentioned Ice Bucket Challenge and the completely horrible and serious-injury-inducing Fire Challenge in terms of appropriateness. But on a scale measuring meaning, it's somewhere between "completely pointless" and "Pauly Shore's career." What's that? I'm just a crotchety cynic who's outgrown the youth demographic and therefore out of touch with what's hip? If this is what's hip, then I sincerely hope you're right. But don't take my word for it; watch.

But perhaps it's not all pointless laughs. There is a danger element here, and it's exactly what you think it is. Exposing your skin to cold weather can lead to a series of injuries, such as frostnip, frostbite, trench foot, chilblains, and most seriously, hypothermia, which occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it and can lead to unconsciousness and even death. You know what ups your chances of getting all these conditions? Playing in the snow in your damn underwear. Not to mention, you might not always know what's buried under the snow. You could easily dive onto something sharp and get injured.

But something tells me the people participating in this challenge don't really care to heed such health warnings, not when they can get their five minutes of Internet fame. It's all very reminiscent of a pop culture from my era, the MTV show Jackass, which was called Jackass for a reason.

Image: Jenny Earl/Twitter