Amid the absolute mess of every breaking and developing story in the news is humankind doing what it does best: acting a beautiful, damn fool for petty laughs.
People are imitating emojis with each other over text, and then screen-recording and sharing the conversation online for what they’re calling the “emoji challenge.”
And you can largely thank 18-year-old Jeydah Jenkins and her hilarious group of friends for popularizing the trend. Earlier this week, Jenkins and 10 of her close friends began riffing off each other and trying to outdo one another in recreating emojis IRL in a group chat.
Their ridiculous conversation has gone hugely viral and caused a chain reaction on Twitter. (The girls sent BuzzFeed News their full conversation, which was truncated on Twitter.)
Jenkins told BuzzFeed News the group text chain all started when one of her friends, Mimi, randomly sent everyone her best impression of the 🧐emoji.
The friends attend Clark Atlanta University and needed a healthy distraction from school at the time, she said.
“We all decided to join in,” Jenkins said. “The challenge was so much [fun] because we were being creative and funny and it gave Trish a study break.”
The challenge then escalated. At one point, Trish even got in her bathtub.
Jenkins said she decided to record the conversation and share it on social media “to showcase how silly [their] friendship is.”
Her tweet has not only been retweeted more than a quarter of a million times since Wednesday, it’s inspired countless other people and their friends to try the “challenge.”
It’s now manifested into what the social internet would dub A Thing, with other friend groups and even family members challenging each other over text.
While the exact origin or idea for the emoji challenge remains unclear, Geno Sampa, a 21-year-old from St. Louis, and his friend went viral for it over the weekend.
“Lol Who Won ?” he asked in a tweet that’s been shared over 22,000 times.
Sampa told BuzzFeed News his friend was “bored” and sent him an emoji impression with no context, and he just “went along with it.”
“This challenge is very good and funny because it makes you bond better,” he said.
And, for the record, Sampa said he thinks his friend won. (And, according to him, she doesn’t even use social media much!)
For Jenkins and her friends, she said they’re “letting the viewers decide” the winner, however, “most people are saying that it’s a tie between my friend Trish and I.”
She’s mostly glad to have a fun and low-stakes way to take a break from life.
“College is stressful and you need a laugh every now and then,” she said.