Why the book phone challenge is the social media craze of the summer.

Dunking on strangers is great.  Standing like a mannequin is fine too. But if you want to make a splash on the internet this week, you better pick up a book.

The #bookphonechallenge encourages users to pick up their latest reads and hold them to their ear like a phone. It's similar to photos you may have seen of rappers, entertainers, and the suddenly cash-rich holding stacks of money to their ears like phones — only this time, it's for people who love to read.

The #bookphonechallenge started with Lord Jamar, a hip-hop artist from the group Brand Nubian.

In his first post, he wrote, "On my phone, knowledge is calling." Soon after, he made a funny video using his books as a make-believe phone. The challenge was born.

Y'all wanna make the BOOK PHONE a CHALLENGE???...Then make it happen!!! #bookphonechallenge

A post shared by Lord Jamar Allah (@lordjamar) on

Since #bookphonechallenge began July 29, more than 9,000 posts have used the hashtag.

The challenge has spread quickly on social media, particularly among black users. It's the perfect combination of hip-hop culture, continuous learning, and great photos. Since reading is perfect for all age and stages, everyone can participate!

From sweet babies starting on the right track...

...to older kids finding their favorites and exploring the world around them.

Grown folks are in on it too. Sharing what they're reading for business or pleasure...

#bookphonechallenge part 1

A post shared by Ben-G From The LPC (@bengfromthelpc) on

...as well as the books that inspired and challenged them.

As an adult, reading isn't always carefree or fun.

(Finals are no joke.)

But when it comes to learning new things or exploring new places, a good book is the only thing you need.

Music just keeps on calling me! And I'm always shocked at what it's saying. Lol #bookphonechallenge #HBCU #SCSU #HBCUGrad

A post shared by Neko Da Roll-N-Stone ™ (@nekodrns) on

(Well, most of the time.)

Yes I wanted in on the #BookPhoneChallenge too! 📚 #MoveWithMelo

A post shared by Melo (@movewithmelo) on

Take part in the #bookphonechallenge or just take a minute to recommend a good read to a friend.

Because unlike the running man or ice bucket challenge, reading will never go out of style.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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Canva

As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

Keep Reading Show less