Illustation of instagram challenges

The Best Instagram Challenges To Send to Your Friends

Teens being stuck inside with their phones for weeks on end is a recipe for disaster — or a few unique social media hashtags.
April 5, 2020
7 mins read

When young people are told to get off their phones and go outside, we don’t listen. But when we are forced to stay inside, all we want to do is go out. To let the outside world know that we’re still alive, Instagram users have taken to circulating challenges to their friends. Each one is a fun way to stay connected and a reminder of what is really important.

#see10do10 aka The Push-ups Challenge

With most fitness centers closed, gym rats need some way to show off that they work out. Thus the #see10do10, or pushups challenge, was born. Some people have gotten really into it, showing off their clapping pushups, handstand pushups and other weird variations. Also on the rise with Instagram pushups are sales of at-home workout equipment and views of workout videos on YouTube. Here are more ways to stay active under lockdown.

#SeeAPupSendAPup Challenge

The one member of your household who is happy that everyone is at home right now has got to be your pet. Dogs are suddenly getting the attention they always wanted and are popping up on social media accounts of all sorts. The #SeeAPupSendAPup challenge has people posting or sending images of their pets to friends.

If you want to do something helpful and have the capacity to foster a pet, shelters across the country are facing staff shortages, and fostering or adopting an animal may help you and them get through this crazy time.


The Tag Beautiful People Challenge

The COVID-19 pandemic has already made a huge dent in humanity’s collective mental health, experts say. Here are some CDC-approved ways to cope with the pandemic, and some ways to look after your mental health through any period of uncertainty. This uplifting challenge has people tagging friends they admire to post pictures of themselves on their stories and gives everyone involved a boost of positivity.

The Baby Photos Challenge

This challenge is objectively the best. Because what’s better than seeing random photos of babies on your Instagram feed, only to realize it is a baby version of your friend? To participate, simply post a baby photo of yourself and tag your friends to do the same. One good thing that has already come out of this pandemic is force people to reflect — on how they spend their time, on who is important to them and on what is really important in life. The baby photos challenge is a visual representation of this reflection; it takes us back to simpler times and reminds us that simpler times will come again.

The Ugly Photos Challenge

The next three challenges require a little bit of confidence in yourself. Instagram is typically a place for carefully-curated, airbrushed photos that fit the aesthetic of your “feed” or online personality. But with the coronavirus pandemic, old conventions of social media have been thrown to the wind. For the ugly photos challenge, people post unattractive pictures of themselves — or flawless pictures that they claim are unattractive, because self-deprecation is in these days. There’s nothing like a national pandemic to make us realize that no one judges you as much as yourself, so post away.

The Fail Videos Challenge

With many housebound folks trying new things while stuck inside, there is no shortage of failures new and old to be posted to the Instagram story. To participate, simply scroll through your camera roll for a time when you tried and failed at something and unapologetically share it to your followers. With a crisis going on outside our doors, it can be difficult to remember to laugh and keep a lighthearted attitude. But it also puts things into perspective; that time when you fell on your face and everyone laughed may have seemed like the end of the world in the moment, but now it is something that can bring a smile to your friends’ faces.

The Embarrassing Photo Challenge and the Game Day Face Challenge

Much like the ugly photo and fail videos challenges, the embarrassing photo and game day face challenges require posters to upload photos of themselves at their worst. The embarrassing photo challenge documents any time in your life in which you did something embarrassing, while the game day face challenge is for all those athletes to show off their weird workout faces. For sports fans missing their game time, check out these sportscasters narrating their everyday lives in full-on tournament mode while social distancing.


Until Tomorrow

This is one of the few Instagram challenges that does not get posted to the 24-hour story. Someone will post a random picture or video of themselves to their social media account with the caption “until tomorrow,” to be deleted the next day. If you “like” someone else’s “until tomorrow” post, you are morally obligated to post your own. The underlying idea is, much like the embarrassing and ugly photo challenges, no one minds when you aren’t flawless on social media because none of us are flawless in person.

Create Your Own!

One thing is for sure: People are going to be on their phones a lot more in the coming weeks. So, your own Instagram challenge can easily go viral. To create your own challenge, simply come up with something new for people to try and a hashtag to go along with it, and post away.

Asha MacKay, Wellesley College

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Asha MacKay

Wellesley College

Asha MacKay is, in order of importance: a born-and-raised New Yorker; a lover of podcasts, especially of the NPR/WNYC variety; a thrifter; an oat-milk lover; and convinced she will never learn how to drive.

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