Dangerous Challenges Spread by Social Media

By Ashley Schultz

Dangerous Challenges Spread by Social Media

The internet has brought us many great things that have advanced us as a society, but it has also enabled the extreme stupidity in much of our society. This is evident when looking back over the stupid and dangerous, and often potentially deadly challenges that have spread like wildfire online through social media outlets like YouTube. Teenagers can be very impressionable and see these challenges and try them to look “cool” or to fit in. Often, they are placing themselves at a serious risk by attempting these challenges as they may not fully understand the dangers they are exposing themselves to. Unfortunately, it is not only teens who are succumbing to the pressure and attempting the challenges below. Many adults have been severely injured and hospitalized as well because of this phenomenon.

Here are some of the more infamous “challenges” to date:

Tide Pod Challenge: For whatever reason, someone thought it would be cool to see what happened if they ate one of those brightly colored Tide Pod packets. This arose as people thought these colored packets looked much like candy or a multicolored peppermint swirl. As if that was not bad enough, they challenged others to do it and many have ended up with permanent damage to their throat, stomach, intestines, and other organs, and some have even died.

Cinnamon Challenge: This challenge was from a year or so ago and involved people trying to eat a spoonful of pure, straight ground cinnamon. Most could not even get it swallowed and ended up inhaling much of it which caused massive coughing fits and irritation to the lungs. Those who did manage to swallow most of it had a similar reaction with major stomach cramps and bleeding. The concentrated power of the cinnamon sent many to the hospital and killed many as well.

Salt and Ice Challenge: This internet challenge involved sprinkling salt on a part of your body – like the back of the hand – and then laying an ice cube on the salt. The salt melts the ice and refreezes it against the skin. The goal of the challenge was to see who could keep the ice in place the longest. Many people ended up in the emergency room with third degree burns from this challenge and most who went too far with it ended up being permanently scarred from it.

Sour Warheads Challenge: For those who like candy, especially sour types, this is a popular challenge that many tried but very few got very far with. It basically involved seeing who could eat the most Sour Warhead candies one after another with no breaks. Most didn’t get very far but those who did push it to extreme limits ended up burning off their taste buds and many had bleeding sores, blisters, and scarred tongues because of this challenge.

The Choking Game Challenge: One of the more dangerous of the games the internet spread, this game involved choking yourself or allowing yourself to be choked. The goal was to get as close as possible to passing out before stopping in order to get a ‘high’ feeling from the oxygen deprivation. Many kids ended up dying from this challenge as they would have friends choke them for too long or they would get more creative with how they choked themselves and would end up accidently hanging themselves.

Alcohol Chugging Challenge: Even adults fall victim to stupid internet challenges. There are many names for this challenge but basically it worked like this: challenge your friends to drink more alcohol than you in a sitting. Most started with beer but it quickly got moved to harder alcohol drinks. Many people ended up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning and some people died as a result.

The Fire Challenge: The final example of “stupid internet challenges” is one of the stupidest for sure – the fire challenge. In this challenge, you would spray some sort of flammable liquid on yourself or your clothes – oil, gas, perfume, or something else highly flammable – and then light it on fire. The goal was to see how long you could stand the fire before patting yourself out. Needless to say, many people were severely injured with burns from this challenge.

Common sense goes a long way and when challenges like these come around. We need to be watchful and mindful and step in when we think someone is engaging in any of these risky behaviors. Speaking with children and loved ones about the dangers of these “challenges” is key to stopping them once and for all.  Someone’s life may be on the line!

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