Throughout the past few years, we've all seen social media rapidly growing. Although social media can have many benefits, including sharing photos or messages with friends across the country or world, it can also have its downfalls. One of these, as we've all seen in the media, has been bullying. Young people feel they have some higher level of power online to say anything to one of their peers, and this cyberbullying has been the cause of many young lives lost due to suicide.
The newest trend among young adults with social media seems to be the opposite of bullying. In fact, in this new trend friends are encouraging one another and rooting each other on to accomplish tasks. What kind of tasks? Drinking a large alcoholic beverage in an extreme way.
This report on CNN shows some examples of Neknomination -- mixing two different types of alcoholic beverages together and watching them "congeal" before drinking it, mixing a dead mouse in with liqour, or stripping down to undergarments in a public place and chugging a beer. These stunts all end with the subject nominating one of his or her friends to take the challenge of outdoing the task that was just completed. All of this is posted on one of the social media sites such as Facebook or YouTube.
At least five individuals -- all males under the age of 30 -- have died as a result of this game. It is thought to have started in Australia, but because of social media, it is rapidly gaining ground throughout the world. This game/challenge makes young people feel pressured to abuse alcohol in ways that can be extremely damaging.
I'm wondering if any of you have heard about this in treatment or practice. Can you share your experiences with us? Or if this is new information to you, what are your initial thoughts?
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