Newest Internet Craze Shows How Much Money People Are Willing To Risk

| by Reve Fisher
person dangling phone through ventperson dangling phone through vent

An odd trend known as "extreme phone pinching" involves people dangling their iPhones over areas such as water, dangerous drops, and narrow gaps.

This craze was started by an American indie pop band named Twenty One Pilots, according to The band posted a series of videos that shows them hanging their iPhones over balconies or gaps in drains. An unspoken rule is that the phone must only be held with the thumb and forefinger, which allegedly causes an adrenaline high for people.

This challenge, known as #extremephonepinching on Twitter, has reached young people from reportedly all walks of life. Many people have posted videos and photos to show how they managed to succeed, or fail, at this viral trend.

While some recent internet trends have been about pushing yourself to the limit, others have driven social change and awareness.

In the summer of 2014, the Ice Bucket Challenge was an example of viral trends for a cause. By many measures, it was a success for the ALS Association, according to Time.

Over $115 million was reportedly donated as a direct result of the challenge, compared to $23.5 million the association received in 2013. Internet searches for ALS reportedly increased to 68,000 from around 500 in August 2014. Several celebrities, and even President Barack Obama, participated in this modern-day version of an Internet chain letter.

"I remember reading a lot of stories about people complaining that the ice bucket challenge was a waste and that scientists weren’t using the money to do research," Jonathan Ling, a lead ALS researcher, said. "I assure you that this is absolutely false. All of your donations have been amazingly helpful and we have been working tirelessly to find a cure."

Although hundreds of dollars are at risk every time someone engages in extreme phone pinching, and it's unlikely to bring social change or awareness, it seems to be a relatively harmless trend. In 2014, the Neknomination craze -- which called for participants to down two pints of gin with teabags in a short amount of time -- allegedly caused the deaths of five people, according to

Sources:,, Time / Photo credit: Momma Llama/Twitter, Ashley Johnson/Twitter via