Beware the risky dares issued on social media
Published on: Thursday, April 01, 2021
By: The Sun
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Kiranjit said there are other dares that come with a cause, such as #ChooseToChallenge. (Bernamapic)
PETALING JAYA: In just over a decade, social media has evolved from being just a medium of entertainment to being an integrated part of daily life.

In its new form, social media has also become a platform from which to throw and accept challenges. Some are fun and harmless, but there are those that can be dangerous.

The latest challenge that has caught a lot of attention is the “Tide pod” dare, that requires the person who accepts the challenge to bite into a pod of laundry detergent. Equally risky is the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge, that involves forcing blood to the lips to make them swell.

Others, like the Dalgona Coffee Challenge, which introduces another way of brewing and enjoying coffee, were born out of boredom brought on by the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Social media expert Dr Kiranjit Kaur of Universiti Teknologi Mara in Shah Alam, said the Covid-19 pandemic has left many people restless and bored.

 “As a result, there has been a sharp rise in the use of social media,” she said, adding that it has also led to an increase in such challenges.

Kiranjit said the ease of use of new social media apps and the broader applications available on these apps was another reason for the emergence of such challenges.

 “It has become trendy because we all enjoy games and we want to win,” she said.

 “The wackier the app, the wackier the challenges. However, some of these challenges also provide a global platform for groups of people to gather, enhancing their excitement in participation.”

Kiranjit said as some challenges can result in harm or injury, individuals should be intelligent enough to understand the consequences before engaging in the act.

She pointed out that there are other dares that come with a cause, such as #ChooseToChallenge, that was introduced on International Women’s Day recently to highlight gender inequality.

 “While there are dangerous ones, there are the functional and positive ones as well,” she said.

And just like most things, these challenges have an impact on one’s personality and mindset as well, and it can be for better or worse.

 “Social media leads to broader exposure to global practices and this can have an impact on a more accepting mindset. However, if the individual limits his interaction with only a specific group with specific negative values, then that would have a negative impact on their world view, thus possibly leading to conflict and tension,” she added. 

Lecturer and media expert Adlene Aris said such challenges have a greater impact on the younger generation, especially those who are active on social media.

She sees the quest for more “likes” as the reason for accepting or introducing such challenges, even the harmful ones. – The Sun

For instance, she said the Ice Bucket Challenge had even resulted in deaths, while the Blue Whale Challenge that swept across Europe had led to self-harm and suicides.

 “These kinds of dangerous and useless challenges should be stopped and this can be done by creating awareness and for parents to practise self-regulation in the household or on their children’s gadgets,” she said. 


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