Today I read the sad story in New York of a 12-year-old girl who poured a cup of boiling water over her 11-year-old friend sleeping on the couch during a sleepover party.
This bizarre attack was all part of a social media stunt called the Hot Water Challenge.
The victim suffered second-degree burns to her face, neck, chest and back. She was taken to hospital, where she remained in serious but stable condition.
Apparently this dare game is a spin-off from the Ice Bucket Challenge, an Internet video sensation that drew thousands of people, including many celebrities, to record themselves having ice water dumped on their heads.
Recently social media dare games are making their digital rounds on the Internet. They include:
Fire challenge – Dousing oneself with flammable liquids and then setting aflame, while being video recorded and posting on social media sites.
Cinnamon Challenge – Swallowing a spoonful of ground cinnamon in less than a minute without water.
Salt and Ice Challenge – Pouring salt on your skin, placing an ice cube on top, and holding it there for as long as possible.
These and many more have drawn thousands especially the young to do the stupidest, insane and hazardous thing.
Why do people endanger their own lives to perform such dangerous feats?
I believe there is a dark facet of human nature that seeks to prove oneself, crave social acceptance and gain validation of others just to fit in and avoid the fear of being called “chicken” or coward by their peers.
Parents today need to know this growing threat and warn their children of the dangers of such social media dare games. Don’t for a moment assume your kid won’t try the dare game, which is often masqueraded as fun and cool.
Remember when we were young then and someone dared us to do the dumbest thing and we did. We can’t tell what is plain stupid and what is safe. We are unclear about right from wrong.
Today, the dare games are happening through the Internet, with kids taking video of themselves performing the dangerous challenges. Many of them don’t realize just how dangerous these dare games are until it’s too late.
When someone dares you to do the stupid thing, take heed of the counsel of Scriptures.
“Sensible people will see trouble coming and avoid it, but an unthinking person will walk right into it and regret it later” (Proverbs 27:12 GNT).
“Foolishness brings joy to those with no sense; a sensible person stays on the right path” (Proverbs 15:21 NLT).