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Teen Challenges on Social Media

Social media is great for sharing ideas, whether they be good or bad.

One major problem can be dangerous challenges that become trendy through social media.

Skylar Fish, 14 years old, is lucky to be alive  after an incident involving the “duct tape challenge.” A search on YouTube brings up over 242,000 results of the challenge.

The duct tape challenge involves one person wrapping another person in duct tape, and filming them trying to escape. Skylar had done the challenge before, but on January 6th he struggled to get out of the tape and fell, striking his head on a window frame.

This isn’t the only challenge seen on the site. These challenges range from the cinnamon challenge to the Condom Challenge.

The cinnamon challenge can lead to health risks as researched by Pediatrics Perspectives. The ingestion of the cinnamon powder stimulates the gag reflex which is quickly followed by powder being stuck in the throat. The painful sensation causes one to cough uncontrollably, blowing the cinnamon out.

The condom challenge involves inserting a condom into one’s nostril and snorting it back through the throat to be coughed out of the mouth.

“This generation is obsessed with their 15 minutes of fame and it seems like a way to get that. […] It used be things […] people would do as a teen before the internet but now that it’s so mass produced on social media it’s at everyone’s fingertips,” says Mckenzie Anderson, a student at Sarah Lawrence College.

Criticism against the seriousness of the challenge is seen from commenters of certain articles who point out that the issue with Skylar was the window he hit, not the duct tape. People like Anderson point out it should be taken into account.

“He wouldn’t have fallen on his head if he hadn’t done the duct tape challenge. If people are just like ‘there are risks in doing this duct tape challenge’ and take that into account hopefully this problem won’t escalate,” Anderson adds.

It’s unclear whether or not these problems could ever cease with social media awareness, since teens are known to engage in risky behavior regardless of a social media outlet. The best parents can do is warn their kids about the dangers present with the online challenges. 15 minutes of fame is attainable through safe methods.

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