Dangerous social media, and more specifically TikTok, challenges and trends are nothing new to 2023. However, the one currently taking over user’s summer feeds may be the most unthought out one yet.
Many people may remember the cinnamon challenge, which saw those who dared to try to eat a spoonful of cinnamon in under a minute without any sort of beverage or water. This dare entered the public sphere in the early 2000s but later became popular in the mid-2000s to early 2010s. During its prime, the challenge sent dozens of people to seek medical attention, and according to BioEd Online, one teen suffered a collapsed lung after undertaking the dare. For the past few years, it has been mostly quiet on the cinnamon front, but that doesn’t mean it has not motivated a few other dangerous trends.
The Tide pod challenge was the next fad to take over feeds. According to Niraj Chokshi, this craze involved:
“biting down on a brightly colored laundry detergent packet of any brand and spitting out or ingesting its contents, an act that poses serious health risks. YouTube and Facebook said they will remove material showing people who have recorded themselves performing the challenge. Tide released a video in which Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots discouraged the practice.”
Chokshi also went into the health effects of the alarming phenomenon:
“In the first half of January [(2018)], poison control centers handled 39 cases in which teenagers were intentionally exposed to the detergent packets. That was as many as in all of 2016, the American Association of Poison Control Centers said. Last year [(2017)], poison control centers handled 53 such cases, the group said in a news release… The companies that make the packets use different formulas, but one thing is clear: They contain more than just soap… Highly concentrated detergent and a variety of chemicals are inside, depending on the brand, she said. Tide pods contain 90 percent active ingredients and 10 percent water, according to the company. A dissolvable covering holds it all in.”
Those not in the thralls of online peer pressure probably scratch their heads at the idea of putting a spoonful of cinnamon, much more a Tide pod, in their mouths in the first place. However, risk masquerading as ‘fun’ can take a pretty strong hold on those susceptible, or unknowing, to these kinds of dangerous fads.
So what could possibly top these two challenges? TikTok users in Alabama have your answer.
#boatjumping seems to be the new danger masked by laughs and thrills. According to Taylor Lang, this challenge is when:
“People jump off of moving boats into calm water, which can feel like concrete on impact, causing injury. There have been two deaths in the state from people who have been fatally injured after jumping from boats in 2020 and in 2021.”
She also includes, “Alabama Law Enforcement Agency clarified Monday that there are no recorded deaths in the state that can be directly related to the TikTok trend of boat jumping.” However, “the Childersburg Rescue Squad stated four people died in Alabama in the past six months from the challenge.”
Hopefully this challenge really did not cause any deaths, but it is still extremely ill-advised to take part in this alarming trend.
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