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One of the first viral trends of 2019 is the How Did Age Hit You challenge. If you haven’t seen it by now, you’ve probably been avoiding the internet. The trend, which first appeared on Facebook, began with people comparing the first and last photos they uploaded to the social media platform. But who or what, exactly, jumpstarted the year’s most viral trend?
The challenge has since become a surprisingly popular Facebook-originated meme (both ironic and sincere) across multiple platforms. Hashtags like #HowDidAgeHitYouChallenge and #HowDidIAgeChallenge compare current photos to those from one decade ago, forcing social media users to confront something truly scary: who they were in 2009.
How Hard Did Aging Hit You Challenge
Finding answers on Facebook isn’t easy. The social media service is notorious for making such fine-tuned searches difficult, as privacy settings can often hide user content.
According to Know Your Meme, a website which tracks all things internet culture, the first prominent user to partake in the challenge was Damon Lane, chief meteorologist for KOCO News 5 in Oklahoma.
Speaking with the Daily Dot, Lane, who made the post on Jan. 11, says he jumped on the trend after seeing a friend do the same.
The “How Hard Did Aging Hit You,” Challenge. Take your 1st profile pic and your current profile pic and brace...Posted by Meteorologist Damon Lane on Friday, January 11, 2019
“I actually saw one of my friends do it and thought I’d give it a try,” Lane said. “I rarely do those kind of things. It’s been fun.”
After a link to that friend’s profile was provided, the Daily Dot reached out to further trace the trend back to its original source. We didn’t immediately receive a response but will update this story if more information becomes available.
The New York Daily News notes that the trend is similar to 2017’s “Puberty Challenge,” where people showcased photos from before and after the awkward transition to adulthood.
If you’ve already completed the challenge, kudos! Whether you totally glowed up or the years could have been kinder, we can all be thankful that at least this isn’t a MySpace photo challenge.
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.