Social media challenges need to be stopped

It’s pretty safe to say that everyone reading this article knows about the famous “Cinnamon Challenge” that ruled the internet six years ago. It was a really basic challenge that people still do sometimes. The challenge consisted of pouring some cinnamon on a spoon and then trying to swallow it. According to Livestrong.com, because cinnamon is made up of water-resistant cellulose, saliva does nothing to it and that’s why you find all those “funny” videos of people puking, gasping for air and spilling cinnamon all around them. This challenge is dangerous but can also be considered the starting point of what we now know as viral internet challenges.

Unfortunately, these challenges are nothing but outlandish tasks that you’re almost guaranteed to fail at. Once it goes “viral,” people, especially teens, try to recreate them in order to be one of the few individuals to attempt the challenge and actually succeed at it. Some challenges are simple and innocent, like the “Try Not to Laugh Challenge.” Others have actually been good for society, like the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” which was one of the few challenges that people all around the world participated in help to raise money and promote awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also commonly known as ALS.

These types of challenges can be stupid, reckless and often really immature, representing the worst of the internet culture.

Personally, I was one of the millions of people who did this to raise awareness of the disease and I had fun doing it because my friends did it as well and it was harmless. However,  the most popular challenges are usually the more dangerous ones. These types of challenges can be stupid, reckless and often really immature, representing the worst of the internet culture. They attract the eye of the public and attention from the media for how absurd they are and make parents worry because the results can sometimes be fatal.

One example of a controversial and idiotic challenge is known as the “Passing-out Challenge.” The premise for this challenge, as the name suggests, requires that the participant choke or hold their breath until they pass out. The challenge has lead to many unfortunate consequences, including the recent death of a 12-year-old child.

Lately, the “Tide Pod Challenge” has made front-page news because of how unbelievable it is. People who dare to do this have reached a new level of stupidity. Why would you put your life at risk by eating a pod full of laundry detergent? Why would you justify this by saying that it looks tasty? Yet, here we are, warning young adults about the dangers of eating poison. For all I know, this may be today’s version of natural selection. Either way, we need to put an end to these dangerous, viral social media challenges.

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