You just never know what teens will do for fun. With excitement and thrill-seeking on their minds much of the time, they are always conjuring up some new thing that could become a trend or fad. A big problem with this is that sometimes these ideas are quite dangerous.
Take NekNomination, for example. This online drinking game has become the latest alcohol trend among teens and has already caused some deaths. What is it? NekNomination is essentially a dare for another person (usually a teen) to drink one pint of alcohol (beer, shot, etc.) as fast as they can, all while videotaping themselves and then uploading the video onto social media sites like Facebook and YouTube. Then that person will nominate two or three others to do the same (or outdo them) within 24 hours.
A Social Phenomena
The online drinking game hasn’t been popular for long, coming onto the scene just last year in 2014, but it is gaining momentum. Not only that, teens are making more dangerous challenges and/or drinking more concentrated alcohol for what they consider extra thrill. For example, instead of simply guzzling one beer in seconds, someone may mix in a shot of vodka and guzzle it naked in the middle of a busy street. The alcohol is not only dangerous in this situation but being naked in the street increases the chances of getting hit by a car and encountering the law for indecent exposure/underage drinking.
At the beginning of this trend, London Irish rugby player Ross Samson NekNominated anyone whose birthday was not on Christmas in 2013 to drink a bottle of beer. Of course, many people did this and the popularity of this online drinking game increased. After Samson heard of people dying from this online drinking game, he removed his video.
The Metro, a British tabloid, reports that at least five people have died in the United Kingdom and Ireland due to NekNomination. One young man died after drinking a pint of vodka and another young man in London mixed vodka, whiskey, wine and beer and died from alcohol poisoning.
Dr. Sarah Jarvis, a medical advisor for the charity Drinkaware, states that this game is deadly because drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short amount of time can cause your brain to shut down functions like breathing and heartbeat. You’re essentially in jeopardy of drinking yourself to death in just a matter of minutes.
Some argue that social media sites like Facebook should take some of the blame, as the game would not be so popular if the videos were not allowed on the sites. Others hope that schools will do a better job at teaching teens to resist peer pressure and recognize how dangerous alcohol can be. It is also important for parents to have open discussions with their children about the dangers of drinking and encourage them to refrain from such harmful activities.