People Are Calling Out The Popular Internet Trends That Are Actually "Toxic," And It's Eye-Opening

We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which popular internet trends are actually "toxic." Here are the eye-opening results:

1."Every app and website has premium features now. Don't they care that half of us are currently struggling with finances and jobs, and we don't have enough to use the premium services?? Half of which could've helped us if they weren't so pricey???"


A person in a sweater is sitting at a desk, using a computer to enter payment information on a website
Aldomurillo / Getty Images

2."Influencers filming themselves 'crying' just to get likes."


3."Reaction videos — specifically when parents participate in challenges and film their kids melting down. Kids are experiencing the world and everything in it for the first time; it really is that bad."

—32 Canada

Close-up of a child's eye with a tear running down their cheek, depicting emotion
Mrs / Getty Images

4."Subscriptions for applications rather than letting you do a one-time purchase. The whole world nickel and dimes your money away now."


5."Calling everything 'gaslighting' or a 'red flag.' It's just ridiculous and devalues things. Some things are bad, but it's used incorrectly and in situations that aren't black and white."


A red flag waves against a clear sky
Angelpietro / Getty Images

6."Commenting on every article or post, but doing it negatively. It's just wild to me how negative and mean people are when they have the freedom to read something and say something about it behind a keyboard or cellphone. If people were to do that stuff around me at work or home daily, I would just blow up at them already. I don't know if all these people hate their lives, but man, is it annoying. What happened to being nice and being a glass half full?"

"Even someone's picture nowadays will send off so many critiques and harsh comments. Shut up already!"

—40, California

7."Filming someone having a low or embarrassing moment and then putting it on the internet for everyone to ridicule them. Sometimes it's best just to put your phone down and help them; you don't always have to film or publicize everything."


A person smiles as they hold a smartphone mounted on a tripod selfie stick, suggesting they are taking a photo or recording a video
Freshsplash / Getty Images

8."Not a trend exactly, but social media companies only letting you see the most recent three posts/three days of posts. This promotes the behavior of constantly logging in more and more often to see if there are new posts."

—32 Canada

9."Kids having their own social media. This is not safe, no matter how many parenting filters you try to use. Make your kids get out and play."

—32 Canada

"I honestly hate when I see a kid having a social media account, like, it's not cute, and it can be very dangerous. Where are the parents?"


A group of kids leaning against a wall, all looking down at their smartphones, engrossed in their screens
Wavebreakmedia / Getty Images / iStockphoto

10."Fitness content creators lying about steroid and drug use. Some viewers (especially teenagers and young adults) will spend so much time working out, dieting, and comparing themselves to the point where it's bad for them and then beat themselves up for not looking like those creators. It's just awful knowing that these content creators are using steroids and drugs and then take advantage of people by telling them to buy their supplements and meal plans that don't even work and can sleep with themselves at night."

"It's always better to talk to your doctor or a nutritionist to set goals that work for YOU and YOUR BODY."

—18, California

11."The lack of adherence to data protection and privacy laws. Here in Europe, even big companies and many 'official' websites use dark patterns in their cookie banners to make people agree to data collection, even though it violates EU privacy law."

"If I don't want to be tracked, I sometimes have to click 'disagree' up to fifteen times under three different headers, and the blinking, green 'confirmation' button still wants to lead me towards 'share everything.'"

—33, Germany

A person wearing glasses sits at a desk, working on a computer. A large monitor displays a document with text and checkboxes. The background shows an office setting
Laurence Dutton / Getty Images

12."The fact that I cannot disconnect from my phone. I can't get into my email if I have my phone in another room. I can't log in to watch a show on my Smart TV. Everything has two-point verification plus tests to ensure I'm not a robot."

"It's so frustrating to read articles about not relying on your phone, and then EVERYTHING requires you to have your phone on you at all times."

—35, Minnesota

13."Influencers in general. I like to see product reviews, not the opinions of people looking for attention, free items, or extra 'clicks' on their accounts. And they are so fake and annoying."

—51, New Mexico

A hand holding a bottle labeled "face cleanser" next to an open cardboard box with packing material and other cosmetic items
Miniseries / Getty Images

14."Pranks. They are usually very senseless, very dangerous, or both. They are also generally unfunny and at the expense of someone's health, personal space, and/or self-esteem. The wig-snatching, arm-touching, and pretend cheating pranks are some of the worst."

—Anonymous, USA

15."Crunchy granola trad wives are the latest thing that I love to hate. On the surface, I love the idea of gardening, baking, making clothing from scratch, etc., but the cost in terms of time and money for the lifestyle they promote is massive! The idea that the path to eating organic and living healthy is to have a super rich husband and no career is dangerous and unrealistic."

"Anyone trying to homestead on a budget doesn't have the time or resources to do it in an Instagram-perfect manner, so we all end up drooling over a bunch of Little House on the Prairie cosplayers."

—30, Massachusetts

A wooden box filled with various freshly harvested vegetables, including carrots, beets, tomatoes, and potatoes, in a garden. Gardening tools are nearby
Dougal Waters / Getty Images

16."Honestly, almost everything viral is pretty toxic because that's what people watch; a few of these include weight loss accounts/videos, gender reveals, most parenting accounts, and anything on Twitter."

—15, USA

And finally...

17."The paywalling of information has gotten out of hand. And within that problem lies a more sinister one: I click on a news article and get a popup that says, 'To continue reading, register for a FREE account.' So, I register for a free account. After I've spent several minutes giving up my personal information and verifying my email address, I go back to the article where there's another popup where now I have to subscribe — usually with a deal of $1 per week for the first year, after which the subscription automatically renews to $5.99 per week."


Two credit cards, one red and one yellow, partially inserted in a black wallet, placed on a laptop keyboard
Virojt Changyencham / Getty Images

What are some other popular internet trends that are actually "toxic?" Tell us your thoughts in the comments below, or if you prefer to remain anonymous, feel free to use this Google form.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.