How to prevent toxic challenges on social media

Everyone needs to play a part in preventing toxic challenges on social networks. These aren´t just fun games, the challenges have resulted in the injury and death of both adults and young people – all for the pressure to post a ‘cool’ image online.

The team

The team

Challenges have emerged on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, encouraging people to take part in potentially dangerous games.

What are online challenges?

The challenges range from simple games to actions – but all can have fatal results.

The choking game - This is an extremely risky game that is a way of getting high without drugs or alcohol. This challenge involves self-strangulating to get high as a result of oxygen entering the brain when breathing stops. 

The Labello challenge - This toxic challenge became a popular game amongst young people on TikTok this year. It consists of buying a Labello chapstick and once it is finished you self-harm or ends your life. 

Planking - This challenge is to lie on a random surface in a completely straight line, like a plank. While this may seem safe in most situations, people have taken it to the extreme to be different. There are reports of people planking on narrow edges of buildings and balconies, all for a social media post.

The ‘Bird Box’ challenge -Made famous by the ‘Bird Box’ film that showed actress Sandra Bullock driving a car and rowing throw rapids blindfolded during an apocalypse, this challenge is highly dangerous. Ranging from doing everyday tasks to driving a vehicle blindfolded, this puts both the life of the person doing the challenge and others in severe danger.

The skull breaker challenge -Another challenge that is rewarded by video likes is the skull breaker challenge. One person stands between two others and jumps. The two outside people kick the middle person’s feet from beneath them, causing them to fall. This can cause serious harm, from hitting the head on a hard surface to back injuries. 

Why do people take part in these dangerous challenges?

Whilst many people don´t enter a social media platform looking for these challenges, they can easily be lured in to take part in the challenge. This becomes addictive and can have devastating consequences.

These challenges come from peer pressure and the need to be liked. The toxicity feeds through to people who are easily influenced by others and don´t understand how damaging these acts are.

Most challenges require a post to show you’ve completed them. With social media being so prominent what starts as an innocent game can become more and more dangerous. 

How to prevent these challenges

Social media is a major part of our lives and it’s important to recognize how damaging it can be to our well-being. Before entering into any link or site that looks suspicious, we should take a step back and ask why it’s there and what it’s achieving.

It’s especially important for everyone to be aware of these online challenges, which can influence any age group. These toxic games become viral very fast and can soon get out of control.

Anyone who knows a person taking part in these kinds of challenges should make a responsible person aware so further harm can be prevented.

Let’s stop toxic challenges on social media.