By COLIN REID
In the past few years, lives have been lost and communities have been hurt by internet challenges and trends. Social media is an important aspect of our lives, but it can be harmful.
Since the popularity of TikTok, it is easier for children and young teenagers to spread negative ideas to each other. I think we all remember when teenagers were eating Tide Pods.
A while back, school property began to run short because of a TikTok trend. The ‘Devious Licks’ trend on TikTok was insane. The videos posted were of someone showing what they stole from school and labeling it their ‘Devious Licks.’
My principal had a serious conversation with the school. He said anyone who was caught participating in the challenge would face criminal charges. Some students on the internet even stole toilets from their schools. There would always be no soap or toilet paper. The trend was hurtful to the janitorial staff at schools and showed blatant disrespect to people’s jobs and staff. Nothing good came out of the trend, and many schools lost money because of it.
Schools also had to put a stop to the ‘Orbeez’ trend. I hated this trend. It involved firing gel pellets at bystanders with toy guns. My school had to announce on the intercoms that anyone who used an ‘Orbeez’ gun on school grounds would receive an in-school suspension and could face criminal charges. It was frustrating that the idea of shooting toy guns at people was introduced through social media.
Another popular trend was the ‘One Chip Challenge.’ The challenge was to eat a chip doused with Carolina Reapers, and it was created by the tortilla chips company ‘Paqui.’ In early September 2023, a fourteen-year-old lost his life after eating the chip. He experienced extreme pain in his stomach. A few hours later, he was pronounced dead.
Food challenges have been pushed across social media for many years, starting with the ‘Cinnamon Challenge,’ where challenge-takers eat a spoonful of ground cinnamon in 60 seconds without water, which seems pretty easy, but is actually impossible.
Other deadly challenges have included drinking boiling water through straw, which has sent several children to the hospital with severe burns and has left at least one child dead.
TikTok and Instagram are the biggest social media apps that need to be held accountable. There is no regulation on the app. Trends that are harmful to a community or to oneself should be banned immediately when they emerge.