February 5, 2017

‘Fire’ and ‘One Finger Selfie’ Challenges Present New, Dangerous, Challenges for Teens

Shifra Zuckerman ‘18

Teenagers are known to be rambunctious, especially while trying new trends. But thanks to social media today, teens are becoming crazier than ever.
The biggest new trend that is seen on almost every social media website are the “challenge videos.”
It all started back in 2011 with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which consisted of taking buckets of cold water filled with ice cubes and dumping the mixture on someone’s head to raise awareness for the disease commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Once recorded, the participant would then nominate another individual to do the same, challenging the nominees to comply within 24 hours or decline and make a donation to fight ALS.
Challenges are a great way to raise awareness and encourage donations for charities. Today, however, the challenges have started to reach absurd levels.
“A lot of challenges are harmless and fun, but overtime they are becoming way too over the top and dangerous,” junior Jessie Ruchman said. “I think that challenges such as Jump the Train Tracks Challenge and the Cinnamon Challenge have led to unnecessary tragic injuries and deaths.”
Some preposterous challenges include the Fire Challenge, Ghost Pepper Challenge and the One Finger Selfie Challenge.
The Fire and Ghost Pepper challenges have led many individuals to damaging their bodies both externally and internally. The former challenges participants to squirt flammable liquids onto their bodies and, essentially, set themselves on fire. The latter involves participants filming themselves eating and swallowing a chili pepper that is high on the Scoville scale, such as the ghost chili which is ranked among the hottest peppers in existence.
The recently started One Finger Selfie Challenge, however, began a new inappropriate and disturbing trend. The One Finger Selfie Challenge dares teens to take mirror selfies using one finger to cover a bare private area. In other words, it is encouraging people to take censored nudes and post it on social media.
“Some challenges are more insane than others, but the One Finger Selfie Challenge is completely crossing the line,” junior Liora Finkel said. “I think the majority of the people doing these challenges are just crying out for attention, but the individuals going through with the Finger Challenge are especially.”
The challenges have gone from exciting and adventurous to disastrous and appalling. Because of all the pressures of social media, people want to start challenging themselves to do insane experiments that they see others do online.
Although internet challenges are quickly rising and fading, it is practically impossible to know what the next fad will be. Hopefully the challenges to come will return to their charitable and innocent entertaining roots and no harm will be caused.

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