LONDON — Jumping out of a moving vehicle and dancing in the road doesn't sound like a great idea. But for the thousands of people around the world dancing to Drake's “In My Feelings” song, it's just another craze to be a part of.
And it's not just humans. Cows, camels, goats and dogs have become the unlikely stars of hugely popular “In My Feelings” videos posted online. But the likes, comments and shares notwithstanding, what started out as just another online sensation has escalated into a worrying trend. Politicians are getting into trouble, severe injuries have been suffered, and, in some countries, you could even be jailed.
So how did it start? Seemingly inspired by Drake's song, American comedian Shiggy posted a video in June doing the dance. It triggered a global movement. But as the craze spread, Shiggy's original moves were replaced with far more dangerous ones.
As of Tuesday, the #InMyFeelingsChallenge hashtag had been used over 400,000 times on Instagram. Videos uploaded to the platform include grandmas, brides and even men in Borat-style “mankinis” dancing alongside their moving vehicles — much to the surprise of clueless onlookers.
In recent weeks, some unlucky participants have been run over, fined or badly injured. One American teen fractured her skull after attempting the challenge at a roundabout. One woman was robbed as she concentrated on her moves, while other oblivious dancers have tripped over potholes.
Now, police are issuing warnings and dishing out fines to those doing the challenge and endangering others.
Earlier this month, Turkish singer and actor Hulya Avsar shared a video on Instagram of her doing the challenge. The video, which racked up 3 million views, shows her dancing in the road before chasing after a moving car. According to Hurriyet Daily News, the star will be fined for endangering traffic.
In Egypt, those found doing the challenge and obstructing traffic could be jailed for up to a year. In Abu Dhabi, prosecutors ordered the arrest of three social media personalities for endangering others and themselves during a performance of the dance. According to Gulf News, participating in the challenge constitutes a crime punishable by law.
Israeli politician Moshe Kahlon came under fire from road safety officials on Monday after he posted a video of his own “In My Feelings” dance, the Jerusalem Post reported. Amid the furor over the video, a disclaimer was added to reassure people that it was filmed “in a safe place.” The post was later deleted.
Taking to social media, police in Spain used Facebook to declare that the challenge was getting out of hand and shared a compilation video showing people falling out of vehicles and dancing directly into lampposts.
Mumbai's police tweeted their 4.6 million followers a stark warning about the dance challenge: “Desist from public nuisance or face the music.”
In the United States, the National Transportation Safety Board weighed in, tweeting:
We have some thoughts about the #InMyFeelings challenge. #Distraction in any mode is dangerous & can be deadly. Whether you are a #driver, #pilot, or #operator, focus on safely operating your vehicle. Read more on this #NTSBmwl issue: https://t.co/b9D0IwNemV #MWLMonday https://t.co/vt6oFTbDsj— NTSB (@NTSB) July 23, 2018