Beware Internet Challenges

Dangerous dares send people to hospital, morgue

Matthew Sims, Staff Writer

***Opinion pieces reflect the opinion of the writer only, and not the opinion of the newspaper staff, student body, administration or school faculty.***

There’s no denying that the internet helps us connect with other people, but with more people comes crazy activities someone can do, like videos of a 90-year old grandparents skydiving for the first time or playing extreme sports with the family. However there are some people who go a little too far and create dangerous, idiotic, and sometimes even deadly challenges on the web in the hopes of seeing someone less fortunate than them get hurt.
The most recent of these is the popular ‘Tide Pods Challenge’, in which the participant has to attempt to eat a Tide laundry pod or other brand of laundry detergent packets and record their reaction. The internet exploded with this after a popular online content creator Rooster Teeth made a video mocking the children who ate Tide pods believing them to be candy, calling them the “Forbidden Snack”. Soon after it became a highly popular internet meme to consider these dangerous packets of detergent as a snack, completely ignoring the dangers of ingesting them. Due to Tide pods being packaged in plastic, when someone bites into one, they pop and shoot chemicals into your mouth, giving you chemical burns from the concentrated amounts of cleaners inside. Once ingested, the cleansing agents begin to stick to the membrane of your esophagus and stomach lining, causing you to vomit in large amounts and starting the risk of inhaling the chemicals into your lungs, which can kill you. You could pass the chemicals in theory, but you may not live long enough to tell the tale. In response to the Tide pod challenge, Tide has made it mandatory to lock away all Tide pod packages for sale inside plastic containers, locked and tied shut in almost every store possible, and has even outright confirmed that eating a Tide pod can and will kill you in the matter of eight hours without medical attention.
“The internet Challenges are honestly entirely stupid,” junior Meghan Carrell claims. “They’re potential wastes of time that doesn’t really benefit anyone with anything but a couple injuries.”
Many other challenges can harm us more than benefit us, especially ones which can cause bodily harm or permanent scarring. One of these challenges is the Vampire Bite challenge, where you draw blood from someone’s neck with a bite to show your connection. There are many downsides to this challenge, from an infection of the bite wound to contracting an STD from the bloodstream, but the biggest concern is placement of the bite itself by the human jugular vein, which will kill you once severed as it pumps most of our blood throughout our body. While it is possible to survive a jugular wound, many people will bite out entire chunks of each other for this challenge to permanently show ‘dominance’ over their partner and to show their commitment to this challenge, which prompts even more health problems.
“The concept itself sounds dangerous and not worth the risk!” junior Kayla Gonzalez said. “People shouldn’t go anywhere near the jugular in general and the fact we’re now biting and tearing at it shows how far the internet has gone off the rails.”
The Vampire challenge is risky with little payoff, which makes it hard to believe people actually participate in it or other challenges of its caliber, such as the Eyeballing Challenge. The Eyeballing Challenge has you pouring a shot of considerably stronger liquor, such as whiskey or tequila, and instead of ingesting it you instead pour it into your eyeball. The alcohol could penetrate the membrane around your eye and physically scar your optic nerves, cornea, iris and pupil all at once and effectively blind that eye. Alcohol in your eye could also (infect the eye socket and inflame the site, which could also lead to more fatal cases where the swelling can lead to the brain and begin to cause brain damage.)
“This challenge is by far the strangest and most dangerous I’ve heard of,” sophomore Morgan Brown say. “I mean you pour alcohol into your eyeball! Why try to harm one of the only things in your body it’s hard to replace?”
While the Eyeballing Challenge could cause blindness there is one more trending challenge that will definitely harm you. In theory the Fire Challenge is technically harmless if done right, but in most cases it is not. The challenge is to pour a flammable liquid such as alcohol or gasoline over your bare skin and ignite it long enough for it to be filmed. Once the filming is over someone will extinguish the flames and the skin should be perfectly fine, but many people aren’t trained to put out fires correctly and instead cause more harm than good. Putting out fueled fires is tricky and usually is able to be done by smothering the flames with a thick blanket of towel to stop any air from combusting, but it is common for people to try and pour water on the flames and spread the burning chemical around the flesh, making the burn radius bigger and making a bigger burn. This obviously will burn you and leave first to third degree burns after attempting this challenge and the risk of burning to death is most definitely a capability, and with the risk of permanent damage, deformation or loss of feeling in a part of your body, it should be entirely shunned and the same should be said about almost every one of these challenges.
These challenges are highly dangerous and are claiming many lives of young and naive members of society who decide to eat Tide Pods, bite into their partner’s jugular, pour alcohol into their eye socket or even lighting themselves on fire for the amusement of others. Please do not attempt the challenges and please help stop others from trying it themselves and help let these trends die at long last.