In today's world, we college kids have grown up with technology at our fingertips. We can blog, Facebook, Skype and tweet all day long without breaking a sweat. Being able to communicate across the globe gives us the kind of power our predecessors could only dream of. We can share ideas, laughter and creativity with anyone in the world in an instant. And we have. For this very purpose, planking was born.
For those of you who have not heard of this summer's Internet fad, I'll fill you in. It's a game. The goal is to look ridiculous and get people to laugh. You must find a creative location, somewhere public, and lay down flat on your face. You must be completely flat and show as little emotion as possible, with your hands at your side. Snap a photo so you have proof. That's it.
From my research, it all began in Australia in 2008 or so as a prank to do on dance floors. Eventually, it moved to balancing on items low to the ground. Of course, a Facebook page was created to share the ridiculous photos with everyone.
Eventually, it was picked up by Americans and college football players began to tweet their planking photos during the offseason.
Now, planking has made its way to Ahwatukee, and the Ahwatukee Planking Project Facebook page was created. In about a week they had close to 100 "likes," which is a pretty good feat for a hometown Facebook page.
Daniel Coronado and Chris Felix said they created the page just to share their photos with friends and have some fun.
"Honestly, it's just for a laugh," Coronado said. "A lot of people think it's just stupid and, honestly, it is, but people who think that are just boring people with no sense of humor. If you have a sense of humor and are just goofy, it's fun."
Coronado said his favorite planks were on top of a basketball rim, and just on the ground right before tip-off of a basketball game. Felix is pleased with his plank in a tree and one of another friend with a beautiful golf course in the background in Flagstaff.
"The more creative and more risky, the more fun it is," Felix said. "We just wanted to get everyone involved with it and get Ahwatukee on the map."
Coronado says the technique is all about creativity and speed.
"You scout out a location, prepare and then have the guy with the camera ready," Coronado said. "You have to work quick because a lot of them are in places where you'll get in trouble."
Planking in Australia has caused some problems. In May a man plunged to his death trying to plank on a seventh-story balcony. Australia police threatened the public with fines and jail time for
any more dangerous pranks, but the Planking Australia Facebook page has tripled in size since May with a new "BE SAFE" warning on the page.
Luckily, Coronado and Felix say they haven't been hurt planking. They just want to do something fun during the summer and planking seems to pass the time.
"It's something to do," Coronado said. "I do it because it's funny. When you do it in public situations everyone is looking and a lot of people don't know what you're doing. It makes life more interesting."
So the next time you see a photo of someone lying flat on their face in a public place, just smile and enjoy the creativity.
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