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Planking: The Latest Craze to hit the InterwebMay 23, 2011
Planking is the latest craze popularised by social media websites, and joins the ranks of extreme ironing in pointless pursuits with potential hazardous consequences.
Planking is the latest phenomena to grip the online world. The concept is quite simple, lie facedown with your arms to the side of your body. Oh it has to be somewhere, unusual, public and somewhat dangerous. Your “plank” must then be followed by a series of photographs of the actual “plank” posted on a social media site for other “Plankers” to see.
The concept is also referred to as “the lying down game” in Europe and Japan, and “playing dead” in Korea, or “a plat ventre” (On one’s belly) in France.
Many “Plankers” like to plank in dangerous locations with only 2 points of contact with their body and some drop below them. The more dangerous the plank the more exciting it seems. A man in his early 20s in Brisbane, Australia (where else) on May 15th was planking on a balcony, lost his footing and plummeted to his death.
Social networks, especially Facebook, have been the main channel of the planking craze. The most popular planking platform is Planking Australia with more than 154 000 fans. Locally in South Africa the Planking South Africa page has just recently launched, but seems to have regular photos being posted of talented local plankers participating in the phenomenon, as seen below.
Plankers seem to favour, train tracks, escalators, fire hydrants, motorbikes, and balconies as the object of their plank.
Planking is generally measured by the following criteria:
Form – how straight your body is lying.
Danger aspect – how dangerous your planking location.
Difficulty – planking on only 2 points increases difficulty and requires superior body tension.
Public – how public is your plank? Planks in more public places such as national monuments generally rate higher.
The photo – the photography of your plank is ultimately how the public will see it, so this is an important step to publicising your plank.