So I was looking around trying to figure out what I wanted to blog about today and I saw this headline: “The Viral condom-snorting challenge is a dangerous idea – here’s why you should never put a condom up your nose”. Naturally, this headline leads to two thoughts.
1) how come I’ve never heard of this condom snorting challenge? Am I not cool enough anymore to hear about the new viral challenges?
And more importantly
2) Why in God’s name are people doing this…..
So first of all this challenge has apparently been around for a while but has been trending recently through social media. For those of you who don’t know what it is, myself included, it is when you stick a condom up one of your nostrils and inhale really hard so that it hopefully re-emerges into your mouth.
Here is a link to a much less viewed one to show you how this works:https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=0chKbphmH10
Now I assume that most of you reading this are thinking, this is insane why would anyone ever do this? I agree. Its challenges like this that make me question if social media is good for anything if it allows challenges like this to go viral. This challenge reminded me of the very recent tide pod challenge where kids were attempting to consume tide pods, which if it wasn’t obvious is very very dangerous. This leads me to wonder, how is it possible that these kinds of extremely dangerous challenges become so viral when you can clearly see that they are very dangerous?
One reason that Stephen Enriquez offers up is that teenagers will do most anything these days for likes, views, and subscribers. In an age where social media fame is very sought after, teenagers are willing to do these very dangerous challenges. The design of challenges like the condom challenge and the tide pod challenge is designed to get attention online. This isn’t a new phenomenon, we have been doing the cinnamon challenge and the milk gallon challenge for a long time now.
Another reason is that when kids see social media influencers doing challenges like these, they feel more inclined to do them. I couldn’t find any major bloggers or influencers that supported this challenge but I was talking to my little sister and found out that there are a few smaller influencers that have posted videos on their channels.
This is one I found on youtube that is on the older side, (2 years ago) but has 1 million views. The amount of views this video got is pretty crazy considering all they did was snort a condom up their nose. When teenagers see videos like these from influencers getting upwards of 1 million views, they are encouraged to do the challenge in hopes that they will also get some social media fame. It’s sad though because challenges like this one are very dangerous and really only give kids a moment of fame. There is no talent or skill behind the challenge, the fame just comes from the challenge going viral for a small moment in time. The amount kids are willing to risk to become social media famous has become a bit ridiculous.
The desire for social media fame is definitely something that seems more attainable than regular fame, since as I mentioned earlier it doesn’t necessarily take any skill or talent. Lots of bloggers and social influencers just had a hobby that they were interested in and began to blog about that, gaining lots of followers and becoming social media famous. The danger of this is that teenagers see these success stories and figure that they can do the same thing. The seemingly approachable nature of becoming internet famous leads to dumb stunts like this to attempt to grow their fanbases. You wouldn’t see a movie star or a sports star doing a challenge like this, knowing the horrible health risks.
This hopefully shows one of the many clear downsides to social media. The desire for views and likes brings young teenager and many times adults to do really stupid things. We have seen this before in America’s funniest home videos, but now with social media, it is even bigger and in my opinion much more dangerous.
I would love to hear your opinions on this crazy challenge. Do you think parents and doctors will be able to convince kids to stop doing this challenge? How much harm do you think has to be publicized before teenagers get the hint about how dangerous this was? Can you think of a challenge when we were teens that were this dangerous? What awful challenge will come next?
Some Sources and further readings: