Teens don’t see the danger behind popular online challenges

Who doesn’t love a good challenge? Whether you’re participating in one or watching one online, it can be exhilarating to be a part of something semi-dangerous. I know when I get bored or just feel like procrastinating, I’ll go to YouTube and watch challenge videos to see if they are a success or fail.

Fail videos are some of my favorite kinds of videos to watch because of the participant’s reaction to the fail. They can be hilarious. The problem is that most people don’t realize that these fail videos are often dangerous and could be life-threatening.

Recently the duct tape challenge began gaining attention. In this challenge someone is duct-taped to a chair, or a person just duct tapes their body. Then you see how long it takes to get out.

It is making headlines because of a fail that nearly cost someone his life. On Jan. 16, 2016 Skylar Fish, a 14-year-old, and his friends took part in this challenge. During his challenge, he tripped and hit his head on the corner of a window frame, then hit the concrete floor.

The fall resulted in Fish suffering an aneurysm and shattering his eye socket and cheek. His mother, Sarah Fish, is currently trying to raise awareness about social media and internet challenges, after experiencing the dangers firsthand.

Despite pleas from parents and those who have been seriously inured, these challenges continue to happen. Popular challenges are: the Kylie Jenner challenge, the cinnamon challenge, the knockout challenge, the salt and ice challenge and the knife game, also known as the knife song.

The Kylie Jenner challenge was a big social media challenge in 2015. A simple click on #kyliejennerchallenge on any social media platform will bring up thousands of videos of people participating in the challenge.

Participants in this challenge hold a glass up to their lips and create a suction. The suction causes their lips to swell, thus creating Kylie’s signature full, pouty lips.

But, the damage this challenge causes is both internal and external. The effect of the challenges causes the participant’s lips to temporarily swell up. But the challenge can cause bruising and scarring around the lips, which can cause the lips to be permanently swollen and disfigured. And because the glass isn’t flexible, and there is friction created inside the glass, the cup can break around the lips. This can lead to some serious cuts that could require stitches.

Then there is the salt and ice challenge that can cause second or even third-degree burns on the part of the body where the salt and ice were placed. The cinnamon challenge which challenges participants to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon without spitting it out, can cause you to choke to death. And the knife game can leave you with missing limbs.

Many participate in these internet challenges in hopes of going viral. But these challenges shouldn’t be taken lightly.

So if you find yourself bored, find something to do that’s safe like exercising or taking up a new hobby. And if someone asks you to participate in a challenge, think twice before you say yes.

Author: Adam Ramirez

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