Social Media Challenges: Popular and Dangerous

social media challenges that teens participate in

Over the past few years, social media challenges like the Tide Pod, Cinnamon, Ice and Bird Box Challenge have surfaced.

While wildly popular with teens, these risky, often life threatening, challenges have been a frustration to parents. Newsweek published an article about the appeal of challenges to teens stating, “Attempting to grasp the motives behind the reckless stupidity of teenagers has been a frustrating endeavor for parents since the beginning of time, and many experts believe the internet has made it even worse. In the good old days, parents typically felt they could maintain control over their misbehaving teen simply by limiting the time spent with peers who were a “bad influence.” But thanks to social media, persuasive people with dumb ideas are now omnipresent and a mere click, tap or swipe away. Add in the appeal of 30 seconds of fame, and some teens are willing to try just about anything. In many cases, the more dangerous it is, the better.”

48-Hour Missing Challenge – What Parents Need To Know

Dangerous challenges of the past continue to recirculate among teens bringing with them new social media challenges. Just last week, from Kansas City, Missouri, it was reported that in there is a new social media challenge parents need to be aware of.

Called the 48-Hour Missing Challenge, teenagers encourage one another to go missing for 48 hours to see if a missing post for them shows up on social media. Missing teens earn points for likes and shares.

Police, Parents And School Personnel Are Concerned because it is dangerous, causes panic and wastes valuable time and resources.

What Parents Can Do

Parents can urge other parents to monitor their child’s social media accounts, look at their phones to see who they are talking to and texting, and remind their child that this dangerous 48 Hour Missing Challenge is not a joke and that teens can be criminally charged for participating and filing false reports.

Sign up for Dr. Lisa’s webinar series in which she tackles these hard issues and gives tools to help you keep your children safe and informed online.

Facebook:10 Reasons To Spend Less Time

  1. Personal free time spent checking Facebook and other social media sites takes time that could be spent with someone in your real life.
  2. How do you define friends? The definition of friend has become fuzzy in our  social media world.  Facebook friends may like your posts but most won’t be available in real time or when you truly need it.
  3. Facebook and other social media can bring out the worst in people. From the safety of a computer, people feel entitled to judge, often bashing those that don’t agree with their views.
  4. Competing with friends gets old. You see your Facebook friends’ posts with amazing photos of events and activities.  You feel compelled to post something of your own to keep yourself relevant.  Before you know it, competing can be exhausting.
  5. Facebook uses your data. You wouldn’t publicize or share your private data with just anyone, so why allow  access to your information and sell it?
  6. The influence of fake news. Fake news articles posted and shared  may have influenced the outcome of the last presidential election. While we may not know if that is truly the case, we do know that it is one of the biggest sources of news today and voters read the fake content. Even with task forces trying to control it, fake stories and misinformation persists.
  7. Social manipulation. Facebook will suggest friends based on the friends you already have, pages you like or info you may share.  These may be subtle tactics to suggest broadening your network, but it is essentially social manipulation.
  8. Exposure to excessive advertising. It seems the ads on Facebook now outnumber posts from friends and family.  Why would you want to spend valuable time looking at advertisements telling you about a product you recently searched on Amazon last week or a retailer a Facebook “friend” likes?
  9. Protecting your digital reputation. What began as a fun way to share our lives with friends and family has become a hunting ground for colleges and companies as a way to background check and possibly eliminate, potential candidates.  Your digital reputation can be impacted every time you post or like something  and/or any time you are tagged.
  10. Increasing anxiety and depression. Research clearly shows that the more time you spend on Facebook and other social media, the more anxious and depressed you are likely to become.