From snorting condoms (hopefully someone else knows what I am referring to) to the planking craze a few years back, our generation has been known for doing some pretty idiotic things. But the newest social media phenomenon known as “Neknomination” definitely has to be one of the stupidest.
Neknomination, which is thought to have originated in Australia, is a drinking game where one person nominates another to finish — or “neck” — a said amount of alcohol within 24 hours, and then nominates the next person.
The game requires the nominee to make a video of him or herself finishing a drink and then posting it as a status on Facebook. The video also includes the next nomination for a friend to keep the game going.
All of the nominating and all of the drinking is made public through Facebook.
Five people have already died from the game since early February.
The first two deaths were reported in Ireland. Nineteen-year-old Jonny Byrne was found dead in a river on a Saturday night, when just hours before, 22-year-old Ross Cummins from Dublin was found unconscious in his home after excessive drinking; he then died in the hospital.
Both of these deaths were linked to the drinking game.
In regards to the deaths, Facebook said in a press statement, “We do not tolerate content which is directly harmful, for example bullying, but behavior which some people may find offensive or controversial is not always necessarily against our rules. We encourage people to report things to us which they feel breaks our rules so we can review and take action on a case by case basis.”
But for those five cases, it was too late. Facebook cannot wait to take action when lives are at risk.
Mark Zuckerberg, I personally think you are an absolute genius. I have stock in you. But why have you not yet put an end to this incredible immaturity? How could you let your brilliant billion-dollar platform be used as a source of evil?
The danger of this game is that, like the nature of a good old-fashioned dare, people feel a constant need to one-up each other.
So the drinks being concocted are not just a glass of Blue Moon with an orange slice, but are a mixture of strong liquors with other sometimes-indigestible substances.
Some of these have included engine oil, dead animals and insects and dog food.
However, the rules are not only to make up unique mixtures of alcohols and other substances, but also to drink the concoction in just a few minutes — a fatal combination.
Our generation’s addiction to public approval and instant gratification pulses through social media. With every new social media outlet, our compulsion only grows stronger.
But this time, we have gone too far, and it sadly took the deaths of five young adults to realize.
How could anyone be impressed with someone who can take a shot of gin mixed with a shot of ketchup in under one minute? What do players think they are proving by showing their Facebook friends that they can down a cup of rum and hot sauce? And why are those who are continuing to play, and obliviously enjoy the game, not affected by the lives it has already taken?
Those who engage in the game of “Neknomination” are proving nothing more than their own ignorance, and Facebook’s refusal to put an end to it only further endangers our social media-obsessed youth.