Central New York, Feature

Mannequin challenge leaves participants speechless

Celebrities pose for the mannequin challenge at the People’s Choice Awards 2017 nominations press conference (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

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The mannequin challenge: why is it popular?

By Rashika Jaipuriar SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Social media trends come and go, but this one is sticking — as long as the song “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd is playing.

Blac Chyna posted this mannequin challenge, filmed moments before giving birth, on her Instagram page.

Blac Chyna posted this mannequin challenge, filmed moments before giving birth, on her Instagram page.

In the mannequin challenge, participants freeze mid-action while the song plays. Many people, from professional athletes to the Hillary Clinton team have taken part in the viral craze. Even the Kardashian family jumped in, creating a mannequin challenge moments before Blac Chyna gave birth in a hospital’s delivery room.

Syracuse University Ambulance, an student-run emergency response team, posted a video of first responders and victims frozen, ironic considering their jobs demand fast-past action. In one week, their video already has over 3,000 views, according to Megan Panebianco, the vice president of SUA.

Megan Panebianco posted this mannequin challenge on behalf of SUA on her Facebook page.

Megan Panebianco posted this mannequin challenge on behalf of SUA on her Facebook page.

“I think a lot of students see us as kind of serious…but we’re also students,” Panebianco said. “I think this was a good way to connect with students here at SU and show that we’re not just EMTs that pick you up…we’re also fun.”

Following these trends is just a way to feel belonging, psychology lecturer Stan Treger said.

“One of the most popular ways to persuade people…is called social proof,” Treger said. “It’s one of the weapons of persuasion as some social psychologists like to call it.”

This is seen when pedestrians start walking during a red light after one individual does it, and also when coffee tip jars are never empty — because people follow what everyone else is doing.

“I think it’s initially an automatic response,” Treger said. “What the most fundamental need we have as humans is the need to belong…if you see other people doing it, you’ll probably do it too…and being left out hurts, physically and mentally.”

Whether it’s freezing to a random song or eating a spoonful of cinnamon, fun social media trends became viral for deeper psychological reasons.

And if you got left out of the mannequin challenge, the next big ‘trend’ is probably already on the horizon.