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Commentary: Social media dares are pointless, risky

Feeling daring lately? Apparently so are many other teenagers across the globe.

Encouraging the daredevil instinct has become a trend on social media and it has begun to take a dangerous turn. With the rise of new challenges on favorite networking sites, more teens are beginning to put themselves, and others, at risk.

Imagine hanging out with a friend during a typical day and they ask you to help them perform “The Fainting Challenge.” With this challenge there is a great risk of a wrong turn of events that could cause your friend to die.

By aiding a friend in something so dangerous, you have not only shown that you are not a trustworthy friend, but you would also be held accountable for their injury or death. This would be a drastic outcome for a challenge in which neither party had an intention of causing harm or death, but just wanted to try a social media phenomenon.

Some other challenges that are circulating include:

• “The Game of 72.” Not only is this “game” extremely dangerous, it also is very selfish. What is the challenge here? Is it a test to see which selfish person’s family has the greatest response?

• “The Eraser Challenge” causes injury and could spread infection. This challenge is pointless.

• “The Burning Challenge” poses many serious hazards, including bodily injury and setting property on fire.

Ultimately, teenagers are going to try things. Sometimes they are going to be reckless and make mistakes. But these challenges go way beyond being a little reckless or making a mistake.

It is not as if teens are oblivious to the fact that these challenges present severe consequences. It is that some just choose not to acknowledge the risks.

What is worse, even after some of these challenges go wrong, teens still continue to perform them.

Even simple challenges such as planking can take a dangerous turn because others want to do something more daring.

Many teenagers are failing to think before acting. Instead, they are proving that they are an unstable generation as they make these reckless decisions.

It is not just one teenager. It is thousands of teenagers making these poor decisions. Thousands of teenagers are harming themselves and others. Those with social media accounts who film videos and create social media challenges and those who continue them promote these dangerous acts. But ultimately, what are they for? What is the reward? Teenagers aren’t winning anything. These trends are not real “challenges,” but rather are ignorant and dangerous stunts. As these “challenges” are created, more teens begin to suffer and more of them begin to die.

Teens shouldn’t have to harm themselves to “fit in.” That is not the type of crowd that anyone should want to be affiliated with.

Still feeling daring? Please refrain from posting your acts on social media.

Or go a different route and try the “Graduate High School Challenge,” “Go to College Challenge” or the “Get a Job Challenge.” Don’t follow the craze. #Daretobedifferent

Alonni Reid is a senior at City Honors School.