Harmful Trends

MADISYN ASHCRAFT  The Mainstream

Teenagers have a constant trend that has been ongoing for some time now. It’s called stupidity.

Are all teenagers dumb? No. Some doing ridiculous things are actually smart and have plenty of friends already, so why do these teenagers follow these stupid trends?

Who knows which deadly trend was the first in this merry-go-round of demise, but teens lately have followed the cinnamon challenge, salt and ice challenge and the absolutely stupid Tide Pod challenge.

The cinnamon challenge first appeared in 2001 but became popular in 2007. The challenge was to consume as many spoonfuls of cinnamon in 60 seconds as possible without drinking anything then upload photos to social media. This came with many health risks such as vomiting leading to throat irritation, breathing difficulties and pneumonia or collapsed lungs.

The Salt and Ice Challenge was also odd. The participant poured salt on a body part, usually the arm or hand. Ice was then placed on top continuously until the person can no longer withstand the pain. The salt and ice create a burning sensation, partly beause the ice can get to temperatures as low as 0 °F (-18 °C) which is much colder than the ice. This challenge can result in third degree burns.

The next challenge that debuted the beginning of 2018 is now commonly known as the Tide Pod Challenge. The person eats a Tide Pod, the laundry detergent capsule. After eating the Tide Pod, the teen submits a video to social media and dares another unfortunate soul to complete the challenge, that is if they are dumb enough. This challenge can end in death.

For the sake of argument let’s say you don’t die. However, you will always be reminded of the poor choice you made by suffering from seizures, pulmonary edema or coma. But you can die.

An article from The Hill says the American Association of Poison Control Centers has put the Tide Pod challenge on “High Alert.” Avery Anapol from The Hill wrote, “In the first two weeks of 2018, poison control centers fielded 39 cases of intentional exposure, jumping to 47 in the third week, according to a release from the group. That led to a total of 86 cases so far, this year. The cases have all involved teenagers aged 13 to 19.”

The Tide Pod challenge can end in death. The front of the container of Tide Pods reads “Laundry detergent pacs may be harmful if swallowed and can irritate eyes.”

An article from The Classroom shines some light on why teens might be doing such dumb things. Author Pallavi Guha writes about the Social Learning Theory in media. Guha makes a great point about how media has changed over the decades and how teens are now influenced by many forms of social media such as Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube. Teenagers and even children are watching these influencers doing outrageously dumb things that they decide to copy.

Behavior influencers, also known as opinion leaders, can be anyone from celebrities to friends. They are the ones who create a influence on children and teens and not necessarily a good one.

No matter what influencer teens are watching, talking to or listening to, deadly challenges are not worth popularity. Friends are wondering why these teens would do such a thing. Parents are wondering if they raised their children right asking “What did I do wrong?” especially if at the end of the day their baby is gone.

Please stop eating Tide Pods. It is not candy and can lead to death.

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