The Bridge: Grand Theft Auto is trending, and before you ask, we’re not talking about the video game. Real kids are stealing real cars for (🥁 please) Tik Tok likes. If you can dream it, you can be it, and some Gen Z dreams include hotwiring a very specific make and model of car.
The #KiaBoys viral trend is, as one would assume, about boys and Kia Hyundai cars. Specifically 2010-2021 editions that don’t require a physical key. Basically, Gen Z teen boys have figured out that they can take off the steering wheel of one of these cars, plug in a USB charger – like what you would use to charge an iPhone – and joyride with their besties.
All recorded, of course – because who cares about incrimination and felonies when you have 1 million views on a 60 second video? (We’re kidding)
The trending videos, or crime sprees (🚨🚨🚨), have been liked over 33 million times on TikTok. This might explain the rise in reported car thefts in Los Angeles, St. Petersburg, and even Chicago — where there’s been a record 800% increase.
🚓 Wrong Turn 🚔
We’re no strangers to weird internet trends, or even dangerous viral “challenges”. For example, the 2013 “Cinnamon Challenge” went viral, and sent a LOT of people to the hospital. For some reason, no one considered that ingesting a tablespoon of spicy powdered wood might not be the best idea.
Fine…nobody was hurting anyone but themselves, and even when they did, it was marginal.
2018 rolls around, and we enter the era of the “TidePod Challenge”, where people risked their literal lives by ingesting highly poisonous laundry detergent. This challenge was blatantly dangerous, and caused numerous nationwide hospitalizations and 💀…because, you know, poisoning. In fact, the trend was so severe that YouTube began removing videos of people participating in the challenge.
While dangerous and horrible (and stupid), people were still only harming themselves.
What’s weird about TikTok is the way trends involving complete strangers have taken off. Whether it’s faking a kidnapping to see a reaction from bystanders, pranking/harassing strangers in grocery stores, or… literally stealing people’s means of transportation, there’s a clear divide between Millennial and Gen Z viral content and trends.
We hope to see a change that’s less Scarface and more 3-Stooges, because no amount of likes is worth jail time.