Harmful Internet Challenges

Elizabeth Czosnek, Writer

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The internet is full of many challenges. Most commonly these challenges are directed towards children and teens, but anybody can partake. Many of these challenges became popularized by YouTubers and celebrities, who have a large platform and follower base to be able to influence youth. According to TeenSafe.com, 80 percent of teens who partake in these challenges said they do it to feel more in touch with their peers. Some of these challenges can be harmless, but others can be very dangerous. Challenges like the Salt and Ice Challenge, Momo Challenge, and Eyeball Challenge are a few of the many challenges people should be weary of online.

 

The Eyeballing Challenge is included in these dangerous challenges. It gained popularity in 2006. The practice was shown in an episode of a Canadian TV series in 2013 and a comedy film in 2000. This challenge is done by pouring vodka into the participant’s eyes. It is believed participants will become rapidly intoxicated as the alcohol is supposed to go through the eye’s mucous membrane directly into the bloodstream. A very low amount of the alcohol is actually absorbed by the eye, making that untrue. Participants can be left with eye damage, scarring, eye infections, and in the worst case, vision loss.

 

The Momo Challenge is an extreme form of cyberbullying. Participants find numbers on websites and are told to save the contact as “Momo.” After doing so, “Momo” texts and instructs players to do dangerous tasks. If the participant refuses to do the task, they are threatened. “Momo” threatens to delete the participants social media and claims to know where they live. The tasks and threats increasingly get more dangerous, until participants are forced to kill themselves. This challenge gained mass popularity in July of 2018 when YouTuber ReignBot brought awareness to it and it has remained prominent in the public.

 

The Salt and Ice Challenge is where participants put salt and ice on their body, causing second-third degree burns. The ice can get as cold as zero degrees fahrenheit, causing serious damage to the participants skin. The ice causes the skin to get numb, so the participants lose feeling and don’t realize the harm being done to them. The salt and ice challenge gained popularity in 2012 and made a comeback in 2017.

 

Although internet challenges may seem fun and are sometimes for a good cause, there are far more to stay away from. Participants of these dangerous challenges can be injured or even killed. Watch out for threatening internet challenges.