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Meet the teen who tried watching 'The Lorax' every day for a year
A noble quest ended gorgeously
I was minding my own business, idly scrolling through TikTok when I was stopped in my tracks.
There was a contextless statement. White text on a black background, soundtracked by dusty ambience, noises of scuttling wind or a faraway train.
It said, simply, poem-like:
hey guys I am very sorry but I will be stopping this challenge my mental health has genuinely declined and I just need a break I might come back I’m not sure yet sorry to anyone I disappointed.
And the account name? Wtchingtheloraxevrydayfor1year.
Its goal? Well, that was to watch The Lorax everyday for a year, of course.
My first reaction was one of pitch-black glee. The tone, the presentation, the challenge; all perfect.
This person managed just over a month (32 days to be exact) before they had to call it quits.
Ridiculous, I thought, re-reading the message, fantastic. The combination of the text’s sincerity and the silliness of the challenge was pure art.
I had to know more, so I did the only sensible thing and got in touch with the individual behind the account.
Danny — a pseudonym, as he didn’t want his real name shared — is a teenager from Australia. “When it started I was just bored and thought it was gonna be a fun thing to do,” he tells me. “I'm really surprised the account got as much popularity as it did.”
But why The Lorax?
“I’ve always liked the message and just the movie itself,” Danny says.
His challenge went downhill quickly, though.
“I got really stressed and didn't have as much time for the things I loved,” Danny says. “Sometimes I would forget [to watch The Lorax] in the day, then have to watch it at night and lose sleep.”
A nightmarish vision, indeed.
Eventually, Danny stopped the entire project because it became too much. I asked him if he had any regrets about it all.
“I wouldn't say I regret it,” Danny says, “[it] was actually pretty fun at first.”
While not quite a tale as old as time, it is one as old as the internet. A fun idea balloons into a project thousands of people follow. Then, the pressure of having this large, faceless audience wears at the creator.
Some learn to live with this state of being, others crumble and slink off into the night.
This duality of knowing people are watching but not knowing any of the people is a strangely modern phenomenon — and one we’re ill equipped to deal with.
I’d love to wrap this piece up neatly and say that maybe this should be a reminder that, almost always, there’s a real person at the other side of an online joke. Maybe, just maybe, the world would be a better place if we remembered that.
But you know what? I’m not sure our brains are wired that way. And it sounds kinda boring.
So… try not to be a prick? Maybe that’s the message? Or, perhaps, just log off and go outside for a bit?
As Danny realised, there’s more to life than the internet and watching The Lorax every damn day.
“I felt like if I stopped I would be letting all my followers down,” he tells me, “so I kept going for longer than I should have.”
There’s a lesson in there. Somewhere. Probably.
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