Have you guys heard of the Vine trend #SmackCam? If you’re like me and this hashtag sounds completely unfamiliar (until a few hours ago, that is), allow me to fill you in: Smack Cam is a trend that involves slapping another person in the face, running away and, of course, recording the whole thing on Vine for everyone to see and laugh at.
The meme was started by two dudes who posted the very first Smack Cam Vine, only to see it become super popular. They made a Smack Cam competition and the Vines came rolling in… and basically haven’t stopped. After days of people posting a seemingly endless amount of Smack Cam Vines to Twitter, the media caught onto the controversial trend. Now, everyone seems to be wondering the same thing: is Smack Cam potentially a dangerous form of bullying or is it just a silly, stupid, harmless Internet thing that will die out in a few weeks?
Honestly, I had mixed feelings about Smack Cam at first. Scrolling through the Twitter hashtag to check out all of the #SmackCam Vines that have been posted, I saw a lot of Smack Cam Vines that, truthfully, seemed pretty harmless. Most of them seem to involve groups of friends who all find the prank completely hilarious. The majority of the Vines are basically the same – someone with a handful of whipped cream or shaving cream slaps their friend in the face, everyone laughs and the friend runs after the person who hit them. (Yes, this is a viral sensation.)
In a lot of these videos, the friends are probably even in on the joke, willing to deal with a little whipped cream slap in the face if it means getting thousands of views on Vine and a few moments of Internet fame. In most of the videos, everyone seems amused and you could almost pass off the whole thing as just another stupid trend.
But while most of the videos seem relatively harmless, some of them do not. One video that infuriated the website Jezebel was a Vine of a guy hitting a girl in the back of the head with a jug of orange juice. In the Vine, the girl falls over onto a table and everyone laughs… but watching it, you’re like, “Um, how is this funny?!” That video (which was taken down) was apparently fake, but there are other ones that are equally alarming. Mainly, this Vine of a young boy lighting his friend’s face on fire.
Other Smack Cam Vines that seem way too violent to be funny is one where a guy uses a power drill with a plastic hand on it to #SmackCam someone, one where a guy gets smacked so hard he falls onto the floor and one that was mentioned on Buzzfeed where guys slap girls until they start crying (it’s deleted now). I’m sure there are others, but I didn’t think spending my day watching Smack Cam videos was very productive.
Some of these Vines are videos of guys slapping girls in the face for the sake of the #SmackCam trend, but the trend isn’t just about that. Jezebel and Buzzfeed both wrote about Smack Cam and both mentioned that issue (Buzzfeed even titled their article “Teenage Boys Are Hitting Girls In The Face And Posting It As The #SmackCam Meme On Vine,” which I don’t think is a very fair representation of the whole thing). While it’s obviously disgusting to watch guys hitting girls for laughs, that is definitely not the only thing happening. In fact, I think I watched more videos of girls hitting guys than I did of guys hitting girls. I also saw girls hitting girls, guys hitting guys, even little kids hitting other little kids. Yes, it’s horrible to watch a #SmackCam video of a guy hitting a girl in the face, but isn’t it equally as disturbing to watch anyone hitting anyone else in the face for Internet fame?
Obviously, it’s really easy for these Smack Cam videos to turn way too violent way too quickly. I mean, lighting your friends face on fire? Dude, that is NEVER a good idea. Never! I guess it’s harmless enough when someone is just lightly getting hit in the face, but some of these people are taking it way too far and that’s when things get dangerous.
In fact, the whole thing is enough to leave a bad taste in your mouth. Is it really that funny to hurt other people and make them look stupid in front of hundreds of viewers? I don’t think so. #SmackCam may seem harmless at first glance, but the message it sends isn’t as harmless. Even the creator of the trend, Max Jr., agrees. He told Complex that, “I’m really scared how far people are going with Smack Cams now. When boys are smacking girls, hitting animals or even kids, it’s a bit out of hand, especially with hard objects. I started Smack Cam for fun, not to see people come out with serious injuries.”
What do you think about #SmackCam? Is it it a harmless, funny trend or do you think it’s really stupid and dangerous? Have you made a #SmackCam video? Tell me what you think in the comments.