By: Yasmin Perez, Kevin Mosqueda, Magdalena Montero
As senior Jocelyn Lemus scrolls through her Instagram, she comes across many teens doing the Tide Pod Challenge. She laughs and desires to try the challenge without realizing the harm it can cause her.
From the Cinnamon Challenge to the Knife Challenge to the latest Tide Pod Challenge, these challenges have caused harm to many when they attempt them. Many decide to do these challenges to become famous and be recognized as one of the many few who actually succeed in the challenge. However, not everyone succeeds, many are injured through the process of doing the challenges, while some have even died because of it.
Freshmen Stephen Valdez and Yvhyel Tavizon both stated that they have not tried any of these challenges, but have noticed that over time the challenges get progressively dangerous. When asked, why these challenges get so popular amongst teens, both said, “People think it is funny, especially seeing other people’s pain.” Possible solutions that were discussed was that the videos be removed or promote the dangers of these challenges. Unfortunately, both agreed that fame can be achieved through these challenges.
While some believed fame could be achieved through these challenges, senior Celeste Trejo thought otherwise. She said, “I do not think fame can be achieved through these types of challenges, the only thing it achieves is harm towards people.” Continuing, she said, “I have never actually seen anyone I know personally try these challenges, nor will I ever do any challenge like this. These type of challenges only get popular through the use of media, and get worse and worse each year. When it comes down to a solution to stopping these types of challenges, I believe there isn’t one with how big social media spreads anything nowadays.” So can fame really be achieved through these challenges after all? Some people say yes meanwhile others say otherwise. But is the risk really worth performing the challenge?
Unfortunately, many of these challenges are conducted by teens or adolescents who have suicidal thoughts. They see these challenges as a way to end their lives and in a way, these challenges have become an escape from reality. For instance, the Blue Whale online game consists of 50 challenges that one must do, which potentially at the end leads to suicide or harming yourself. Worldwide, 130 teenage suicides have been detected caused by this game. This challenge is one of the many that have been experienced throughout the years, specifically in teens. Teens have used these challenges as a way to call for help, although in the wrong ways. Not only for help, but to be “popular” and fit in society. By doing these challenges, many believe that they will finally be able to become part of society and will be accepted. Of course, without realizing the consequences.
In addition, APB psychologist Ms. Cord agrees that social media does strengthen the challenges, and make them spread. She believes that social media causes people to want to “feel cool” and “fit in,” which leads people to try challenges, like the Tide Pod challenge. In order for people to be aware and stop these challenges from causing injuries and even death, she gives the suggestion of having a close friend or relative tell you the negative impacts of the challenge and then you telling others around you, to bring awareness. She also agrees with Stephen and Yvhyel that it does bring fame but it only lasts “15 minutes,” it is only temporarily, and brings negative fame.
In conclusion, think of the negatives before you think of doing any challenge. Most of the challenges do cause physical harm and can have negative effects towards your health. 10 years from now, reflect and think about decisions you made in the past and the effects it has in the long run. Contemplate on those decisions and think, “Would you be proud of doing these challenges?”