Gone are the days of passing on a chain email to 12 friends or risk never finding your true love – another online trend is well under way and it’s currently unavoidable on social media. ’Neknomination’ – the online drinking game popular with students that is sweeping the nation (and world) and most recently making the news for less than fun reasons.
For those that don’t know, ‘Neknomination’, believed to have originated in Australia, is a video-linked chain mail game where people film themselves downing a pint of beer* in the most unique, extreme and increasingly dangerous way possible. They then upload it to Facebook or Youtube and nominate two friends who must complete the challenge within 24 hours and so on.
*or neat spirits/urine/a goldfish
So is just harmless ‘banter’ or is it something more dangerous? Is this yet another example of peer pressure amongst young people?
Dr Sarah Jarvis, alcohol advisor for Drink Aware says that it is “more than peer pressure; it’s bullying”. She says that combining fast consumption of a high volume of alcohol and then taking part in a dangerous stunt is a “toxic mix” and describes it as a “disaster”.
This came shortly after it was revealed in the news that a young man in Ireland died after jumping into a river as part of his ‘Neknomination’ stunt. Around the same time, another youngster was found unconscious in Ireland, after drinking spirits as part of his ‘challenge’ who later died in hospital.
It is likely that, like most ‘fads’, over time it will disappear with all the other social media crazes but how many more people will become a victim before then?