Photo via Mark Doliner/Flickr

Teens are beating the s**t out of nobody for the #FightingAirChallenge

Nobody's looking to start a brawl.

Feb 28, 2020, 9:27 pm*

Internet Culture

Miles Klee 

Miles Klee

Teen Twitter is nothing without its challenges, both great and stupid. Recently, we saw kids roast each other in that classically immature “hurrr-durrr” voice for the #HuhChallenge. On the more daring side, they’ve been known to deliberately pass out and even set themselves on fire—because even if you die, going viral is forever. (Forever = about 30 seconds.)

The latest trend is unlikely to send anyone to the hospital, however, and makes clever use of teens’ inherent awkwardness. In the #FightingAirChallenge, one thrashes and flails as if trading blows with someone who doesn’t actually exist. Which makes them easier to beat.

https://twitter.com/jaackiiieeee__/status/789241873072136192

Sadly, the earliest use of the hashtag links to a Vine that has been deleted, so we have only the haziest idea of the concept’s origins. But another early video shows a group of girls engaged in a massive brawl with nobody.

https://twitter.com/pinknoveau/status/789213036682752001

And last December, long before the hashtag existed, it appeared that at least one dude was always ready to throw down against thin air.

The year before, this Vine of a dude shadowboxing was also a viral hit. 

(Sorry, this embed was not found.)

But moving forward, the action choreography only got more intense.

https://twitter.com/FreddyAmazin/status/789655305277706241

https://twitter.com/gr8pgod/status/792834058396901376

https://twitter.com/mariahhfitch/status/792805576875077632

(Sorry, this embed was not found.)

Not everyone is a fan, however—the #FightingAirChallenge has its haters.

https://twitter.com/jerry_l_55/status/792788793967337473

https://twitter.com/suicidebully/status/792809602073104384

(Sorry, this embed was not found.)

Meanwhile, some highlighted previously existing examples of the gimmick.

https://twitter.com/GylfiPleasures/status/792823885687324672

Whatever your feelings about kids throwing wild punches in imitation of a knockdown melee, you can rest assured that—like all things now popular with the youth—it’ll be over by the time you’re done reading this sentence.

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*First Published: Oct 31, 2016, 2:34 pm