As someone who is on social media everyday it has been hard to ignore all these “challenges” that keep popping up everywhere. Unfortunately, the challenges I am talking about are nothing to be proud of. These challenges have been causing injuries, sicknesses, and for some even death, but still people (mostly teens) are participating and making these challenges become viral.
Don’t get me wrong, Facebook and Instagram have been trying to remove any content that involves these dangerous challenges to reduce the risk of anyone else participating and getting hurt. However, they cannot always keep up with how fast some of these challenges are taking off. If you are reading this, you probably are thinking of a challenge or two you might have seen on social media or even on the news. If you have no idea what a challenge is then you are about to be informed. Fair warning, some of these are shocking and out right disgusting, but the reality is that teens and young adults from all over the world are participating in these because they want to “go viral” or get more “likes and followers”. That is the problem with society today, how far is too far to get likes and follows? Why is our goal to become famous or thinking social media will determine how our life will be?
We are not encouraging any of these challenges, only trying to bring awareness to the situation. If you have children, teenagers, or even young adults in your life, we advise that you teach them the risk they may be putting themselves in if they participate in these challenges. We also encourage that if they want to take part in a challenge on social media to make sure that it is to better themselves like Wellness Challenges and not anything that causes harm.
10 Dangerous social media challenges that have come up over the years:
Blue Whale Challenge: This is the most dangerous and sickening challenge by far. This is a “game” that isn’t a game at all. If you participate, a curator will send you 50 tasks, the first few start off easy to get you to play and they get harder as you go. Some tasks include waking up in the middle of the night to watch a horror movie, taking a razor blade and carving a blue whale into your skin, running away from home, etc. But worst of all is the last task, which is to commit suicide… Yes, you heard that right, and unfortunately that is the only way to win the game.
Tide Pod Challenge: One of the most broadcasted challenges of them all. This challenge caused many problems with the Tide Company that they had to make sure to inform everyone they did not come up with this and they have caution warnings on their packaging to prevent ingesting these pods. If you have not heard of this challenge, it consists of biting into the brightly coloured liquid laundry detergent pods and making a video of them exploding in your mouth. Some have even put them in a cooking pans and chewed them up before spewing soap from their mouths.
Skin Eraser: This was more popular in the 90's and early 2000's, but because of social media we have seen it make a comeback. It basically involves taking an eraser and then rubbing it across your skin multiple times until it starts to create a burn. This has been happening a lot during school hours as students have found it a way to get dismissed from class, because of this many schools have put out advisories informing parents what is happening. Have you checked your children? Do they have any burn marks?
Banana Sprite Challenge: Most people participate in challenges like this because they think they are funny, or want to prove to people that they can be the one to do it. However, it’s not funny when it causes you to vomit, choke or end up in the hospital. The Banana Sprite challenge involves swallowing two whole bananas then quickly chug back one liter of Sprite soda. The reaction of the banana and soda will cause the person to vomit instantly. The challenge is to complete this without vomiting.
The Kiki: Oh, the Kiki. This wasn’t so much a challenge but rather a social media fad. Celebrities to everyday people participated in this, some more cautious than others, but overall this was still so dangerous. What the Kiki involves is when you hear the lyrics from a famous Drake song come on the radio “Kiki do you love me…” you jump out of the moving car and do a dance while the car is coasting beside you. Most people were in the passenger seat that would get out to dance, but there were cases of drivers jumping out to dance that would cause them to lose control of the car resulting in accidents. There were even cases of children stuck in car seats while their parent got out of the moving car to make a social media video. Other cases were people not paying attention and got hit by oncoming traffic.
48-Hour Challenge: Police have warned families about the viral “48-Hour Challenge” in hopes of discouraging teens from creating fake missing people reports to gain traction on social media. This challenge involves teens running away and disappearing up to 48 hours to see how much attention their social media receives in the time they are missing. This not only causes families and friends to be worried sick about them, but it also leaves teens vulnerable for 48hours allowing something bad to actually happen to them.
Boiled Water Bucket Challenge: Although this could be the most magical-seeming trick when completed correctly, it can also be the worst “Pinterest mistake” there is. Being in Canada and having some of the coldest, longest winters, it has made people get a little more “creative” with how they spend their time. How does taking hot boiling water, and instantly transforming it into an icy mist, by flinging water over your head in the sky sound? Just because this might look beautiful in photographs, doesn’t mean you need to try it. Think of what is involved and what happens when something doesn’t go as planned. By flinging scalding hot water above your head, you’re placing yourself in the perfect position for that boiling water to land directly on you, causing serious burns to your skin.
Cutting for Bieber: This happened when Justin Bieber was still a younger teen, when the first photo of him smoking marijuana came out. Bielbers everywhere were so upset they were cutting themselves to try to get him to stop smoking. All that participated in this challenge got very badly injured. You should never put your life in risk to get someone to make better choices in theirs.
The Bird Box Challenge: You think texting and driving is bad, how about driving blindfolded? This is what started when the popular Netflix series “Bird Box” came out, which was a show that involved the characters having to spend their days blindfolded in order to survive. People then got the idea that if it can be done in a movie, it can be done in real life. Most people thought that if they went around blindfolded all their other senses would heighten, so they would blindfold themselves and tried to complete their everyday tasks, some up to 24hours. People tried to drive blindfolded, not only putting themselves in danger but everyone around them. Netflix has even issued a warning because of this.
The Pass-Out Challenge: A challenge by many different names but most commonly known as the "Pass-Out Challenge". The goal is to intentionally cut off your oxygen long enough that you lose consciousness for a brief moment. This was to obtain a "high" that ended up causing a numerous amount of deaths for people that didn’t wake up.
How come challenges like the ones listed above have become so popular within society? Have we become so bored that in order to have fun we need to cause our bodies harm? How do we put an end to these if not spreading awareness about them? Most of the time, a lot of parents have no idea what their children are doing on social media, but wouldn’t you want to know if it could save their lives? We want to hear your thoughts!
If you have seen any of these dangerous challenges on social media or even ones that aren’t listed here (because there are a lot) you need to report the content to social media. If they don’t know the content is there, they cannot remove it. If people see that their content is being deleted because it doesn’t meet community standard, they are usually less likely to post it, which in turn stops the spread. If you want to start a positive challenge to do with your family, work or even just for yourself we have a monthly wellness challenge calendar that you can access. If you are interested in receiving this, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s start removing the negative and replacing with the positive.