If you are a regular user of the social networking site Twitter, you’ll know there all manner of things that end up trending on there. Televised football matches, the Great British Bake-Off, wrestling and One Direction are all topics that generate a lot of conversation among the site’s millions of users. But sometimes, something completely unexpected will appear on that trending list, and one of the more recent Twitter trends has been stairs!
But it’s not what you may think. The Internet hasn’t suddenly been filled with photos people have uploaded of their staircases so they can proudly show them off to the rest of the world. No – the latest Internet craze is “Twipping” – people photographing themselves after they’ve fallen down the stairs. Some photos even feature people in the act of falling downstairs. How genuine many of the photos are is up for debate.
It’s likely a lot of the pictures have been staged – some people will find any excuse to take a “selfie” and put it online. Others may simply be revelling in their own accident-proneness and have taken the opportunity to share it with everyone they know. Other brave or stupid (you can make up your own mind) folk who fancy themselves as stunt performers, will actually fall down the stairs on purpose to set up the perfect twipping shot.
This follows the trend of planking, which saw people take photos of themselves lying face down in random places and the Harlem Shake dance craze, which swept the Internet and television at the start of the year.
But while all this might be a bit of fun, people seem to be missing the true stars of these twipping photos – the stairs! These photos give us a great insight into the variation of styles of staircases found in people’s homes the world over. If you look past the attention-seekers posing for the camera, you can appreciate the detail of the spindles, the magnificence of the newels and the quality of the handrail (which if they’d been used correctly, wouldn’t have resulted in that person falling down the stairs in the first place).
Whilst it’s great to see staircases being featured so prominently on one of the world’s most popular websites, let’s take time to appreciate them for their proper use and leave the twipping to the “experts”.