Users online flooded Twitter with pictures on Saturday morning with the hashtag ‘last normal photo,’ a challenge quickly becoming the top trending term on the social media website. The “last normal photo” challenge asked people to post the last picture they took before coronavirus caused the world to shut down.
The rules, set forward by BBC News on May 16, were very simple. They asked users online to share pictures from before the global shut down and social distancing. The news outlet stated, “We asked you for the last ‘normal’ photo you had on your phone, and hundreds of you replied. You can tag your own photos online using the hashtag #lastnormalphoto.”
Within a few hours, those hundreds of replies turned into thousands and continued to exponentially keep growing. People couldn’t help but feel nostalgic looking at the last photo they took when the world was “normal,” when they could freely leave their homes without wearing a mask to visit family, dine out at a restaurant or head to the beach with a group of friends.
Last Photo Challenge Participants Shared Deeply Personal Stories or Expressed A Longing for Ordinary Activities
Dancing the Hora at our wedding on 2/29/20 #lastnormalphoto
This was such a great day. pic.twitter.com/v88f3DjqwD
— Wade Forrester (@CardinalHistory) May 16, 2020
Some users online posted snapshots of the saddest realities of life while living during a global pandemic. One user online tweeted a photo with a newborn child, “I guess #lastnormalphoto would be this one. March 6. First and only time I’ve been able to hold him. He’d only been out of NICU for 2 days. He’s now 11 lbs.”
— JayIsPainting (@JayIsPainting) May 16, 2020
— kr (@19spin) May 16, 2020
Students who’ve been out of school for months and were unable to celebrate graduation shared photos of “normal” times with friends.
— ✰ Phoebe ⁷☁️𖧵 nsfr (@lvlyyoongi) May 16, 2020
— Sharri Moko (@Lilymaescloset) May 16, 2020
— Simon🦖 (@simonaysakaram) May 16, 2020
A few users online were able to start guessing as to when they might’ve contracted COVID-19.
— Emma-Jayne Reekie (@Reekie2) May 16, 2020
Hundreds of pictures were of life’s simple pleasures: going to the beach, feeling the sun in your face, or impromptu gatherings with friends.
— Alexandra✨#TeamLoki (@MischiefAndFun) May 16, 2020
— ☀️ Josephine Okujeni ☀️ (@josephineokujen) May 16, 2020
My #lastnormalphoto – first rays of spring in Swansea bay and much gloomier Rhosili the next day. Impromptu trip to see friends that I found hard to justify at the time but so very glad I did. pic.twitter.com/i976ZY4h3h
— Naomi Turner (@Naomi_Turner) May 16, 2020
Numerous Social Media Photo Challenges Have Gone Viral During Coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has caused people across the globe to practice social distancing or to self-isolate out of precaution, and seemingly minor trends such as the “last normal photo” are way for users online to feel connected with one another without having to leave their home.
In early May, the Facebook Album Challenge, also known as the 10 Most Influential Albums Challenge, grew extremely popular. Participation was easy. Facebook users were asked to share pictures of their 10 favorite albums on Facebook, which simultaneously jumpstarted a conversation between family or distant friends on their love for music.
The Bill Clinton Album Challenge took over Instagram in April, a game that has been around since 2012. Users online start the challenge by visiting the Bill Clinton Swag website, where you’re asked to click on one of the four blank albums in the Clinton photo.
After completing the four album covers, you hit the ‘Generate Swag’ button. From there, you can save your photo to share it online or even get printed on a t-shirt.