Although I am only in my twenties, I have been on this planet long enough to see the dangerous effect of social media on people who had no idea about their real purpose.
One of the dangers that I am talking about is leaking others’ lewd photos or videos. While those perpetrators need to go to jail, I also think that the victims are not entirely faultless. After all, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms have been created so that family and friends can remain connected no matter where they are in the world. But if you decide to exchange nudies with strangers or even a new fling, you should not be shocked if one of them decides to share them with others, even without your permission, just for fun.
Social media can also be a platform for cyberbullying. The reason is that many people tend to share as many personal details as possible every day. I am not only talking about photos or videos but also locations and opinions about different matters. Again, since you post them on public, you allow others to comment on them and call you out, which can sometimes lead to bullying.
However, what bothers me the most is the ongoing trend of people coming up with extreme challenges that could put others and themselves in real danger. Among the craziest ones for me was the Birdbox challenge, which was inspired by the same name. Technically, no one associated with the movie encouraged the audience to copy what happened in the dystopian world they created for the cinemas. Still, some thoughtless people in the real world assumed that it was cool to start a trend of driving with a blindfold on. It wasn’t – it was beyond bonkers.
One of the few things that could top off that is the choking game. You could take your kinky mind out of the gutter because there was nothing sexy about choking others for the sake of giving them cerebral hypoxia. That had been known to cause severe or permanent brain damage to people.
Who Is At Risk Of Following Crazy Trends?
Kids are at the highest risk of following crazy trends. In truth, many of those dangerous challenges have been created for them.
For instance, the choking game got another name recently – the blackout challenge – and became popular in the Tiktok app. The idea was that the child must film themselves while choking themselves until they passed out.
As a sane person, you might cry out, “Why?!” The sad reality was that many internet sensations became famous after doing something crazy and surviving from it. Perhaps those kids were desperate to gain new followers and likes, so they were willing to do anything in front of the camera – even risk killing themselves.
How Can You Tell What Social Media Trends To Follow?
My counselor friend advised the following:
Do Your Research
The problem with most individuals who follow social media trends was that they always did it blindly. A friend might have told them it was cool, so they went ahead and followed it to become cool, too. Because of that, they did not know how to protect themselves if something went south along the way.
If you want to save yourself, you need to do enough research about a specific trend. For instance, regarding the blackout challenge mentioned above, a kid named Joshua Haileyesus “succeeded” in choking himself until he lost consciousness. However, after a few days at the hospital, he died.
When you see news like that, it should be a clear indication that you should never mess with that kind of game.
Avoid The Ones That Involve Physical Harm
You need to stay away from social media trends that encourage you to harm yourself or others in any way. Otherwise, you might end up doing things that you would regret forever.
A subtle example of that is the Tide Pod challenge. Yes, I am talking about laundry detergent packets. This challenge requires teenagers to have a contest to see who could eat more detergent and post the entire process on social media.
Why is the Tide Pod challenge dangerous? Well, that’s because any cleaning product is technically a poison to us. Many kids already got hospitalized because of it; worse, a significant portion of them admit to eating those detergent packets on purpose after seeing the challenge go viral.
Contrary to modern belief, you do not need to try every social media trend that comes up. Some of them can be fun, for sure. Many can also take your mind off your personal issues – that’s right. However, there are more than a handful of challenges that have only been created by sinister people who want to hurt or even kill others indirectly.
I understand if you are reading this blog and shaking your head, still believing that there is nothing wrong with any social media trend as long as you get fame out of it. But think about this: what’s the point of getting famous if the challenge leaves you injured, hospitalized, or worse, dead?
Be smart about the trends you follow online. Good luck!