If you’ve opened Facebook or Instagram in the last few weeks, your feed has been flooded with 10-Year Challenge posts. Usually, the post starts with a line such as, “I guess I will jump on the bandwagon!”
I don’t do bandwagons, but I do do belly laughs. Here’s my take:
… and here’s everything you need to know about the 10-Year Challenge:
What Is the 10-Year Challenge?
The 10-Year Challenge is a comparative picture post that shows two images of you side-by-side. One picture of you is from ten years ago and the other picture is of you say you look today.
This trend is also called the “Then and Now” challenge.
Some of the most popular posts include lifestyle details.
For example, some posts include how their life is different now than it was ten years ago, including that a person has more tattoos and piercings now than ten years ago. Others also add comments such as “I’m a little thicker” now than before.
When Did the 10-Year Challenge Start?
The 10-Year Challenge started as a viral photo trend in 2019. It was all the rage for a while and then, like most fads do, fizzled out as quickly as it started.
However, the trend is back in 2022 (ironically, not 10 years later, which would make a little more sense). If history tells us anything, this viral resurgence will be short-lived.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the trend continued every year or two in January.
The Origin of the 10-Year Challenge Photo Trend
Although it’s not exactly clear who started the photo trend, Facebook denies it started the meme.
The answer is that nobody really knows who started it. Like most trends, once enough initial people share something, more people join in the trend.
However, there are some theories on where the challenge started (see the Facial Recognition Scheme section below).
What we do know is that celebrities and non-celebs alike have taken to this trend like wildfire, especially considering the 2022 version of this challenge is only a few weeks old.
Why Should You Do the 10-Year Challenge?
The main reason to participate in the 10-Year Challenge is to join in the fun of a cultural fad. Your friends and family will enjoy seeing the way you’ve changed. People often like and comment on these posts, so they get lots of engagement.
The most popular of these posts receive thousands of responses and interactions.
Whether you do it just for fun, branding, or marketing a product, the time to make a 10-Year Challenge post is now.
How Do You Make a Picture for the 10-Year Challenge?
Ok, here is how you actually make the picture for the 10-Year Challenge.
Follow these easy steps:
- Choose two photos of yourself (from 10 years ago and this year)
- Combine the two images into a single image using a photo app or software (for example, Canva or PicMonkey). You can use any collage app on your desktop, laptop, or mobile device.
- On the left side, you include the picture of yourself ten years ago.
- On the right side, you include the picture of yourself from this year.
- Upload the single image (of the two side-by-side pictures) to social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc).
- In the text portion of the post, add “My 10-Year Challenge picture.”
- Add the hashtag, #10YearChallenge.
It’s really that simple.
If you want to add a little pizzazz to your post, include the years the pictures were taken. You can say, “Me in 2011 and Me in 2021.”
You can go further to add details about what has changed—your family, your lifestyle, tattoos, weight loss, wrinkles, more or less hair, or anything else.
On TikTok, many people add background music. One song plays while the “older” picture displays on the video, then the song switches to a new song as the “today” picture displays.
What Are Some Good 10-Year Challenge Captions?
Coming up with good captions for your 10-Year Challenge might be the real challenge.
Don’t worry. I’ve got your back.
Check out these caption ideas (use them or create your own):
- “Look at me now!”
- “Me, 130 pounds lighter”
- “Back when I still had long hair”
- “Pre-married vs. married bliss”
- “Hot nerd 2012, older hotter nerd 2022”
- “Looks like someone lost a few pounds”
- I’m more of a dog person now”
- “I had too much time on my hands back then”
- “I used to have more piercings than tattoos”
- “2012 vs. 2022—the good, the bad, and the ugly”
- “10-Year Challenge: Who doesn’t want to see their kids grow up?”
Is There a 10-Year Challenge App?
There is no app made specifically for the 10-Year Challenge. Any photo-editing or photo collage app will work. For example, in a social network app like Facebook, in just a few clicks, you can create your 10-Year Challenge photo.
If you want to have extra fun, try making a great 10-year challenge picture in a real photo booth.
There’s nothing better than the authenticity of an old-style photo booth snap.
Is the 10-Year Challenge a Facial Recognition Scheme?
Conspiracy theorists claim that the 10-Year Challenge is covertly a scheme to train facial recognition software to identify and track the population.
The theory is that big data companies like Facebook and Google use the 10-Year Challenge trend to collect images of people around the world to train facial recognition artificial intelligence.
Facial recognition software allows computers or other devices to identify human faces—like using your face as a password (or as a key). The technology already exists, but it’s not perfect.
There are still errors when identifying faces.
Some conspiracy theorists believe that by increasing the number of photos on social media available for facial recognition technology training purposes, those errors will decrease, and facial recognition technologies will become more advanced and accurate in their ability to recognize and track humans.
But should we worry about this? Is it even true?
While we know for certain that increased use of 10-Year Challenge posts will increase the amount of available data for facial recognition technology, we don’t know how much of an impact it will have on digital tracking.
Additionally, Facebook has denied the charges that they are using any sort of facial recognition technology to identify faces in these images.
Can You Do a 20 Year Challenge Photo?
Even though the current trend is a 10-Year Challenge, there is nothing stopping you from comparing your looks from 20 years ago with how you look today.
Sometimes, it’s fun to buck the trend.
I’ve seen 10-Year Challenge posts with pets, family members, significant others, and more.
Is the 10-Year Challenge a Good Thing?
That’s up to you. It’s just for fun, so there is no right or wrong answer.
If it makes you happy and gets others excited about your life, go with it!
The best time to participate is now. Get involved in the 10-Year Challenge, and it’ll be a great excuse to capture your favorite memories!
Some Final Thoughts on the 10-Year Challenge
The 10-Year Challenge is something you can do privately or publicly. It’s up to you. If you’re considering whether to post your 10-Year Challenge picture online, go with your gut.
You know yourself best.
If you want to have some fun, be involved in the 10-Year Challenge! What do you think will happen? Who knows? It’s just for fun, so enjoy it without worrying too much about anything else.
I can’t wait to see your pictures! 🙂