Likes > Health: How do we stop dangerous social media trends? (Editorial)


Kate Muir

VIDEO VANDALISM: Teenagers have been turning to destructive behavior, including theft of school supplies, urged on by TikTok and other social media trends. (Photo staged for content).

Over the past decade, social media has had a long-lasting impact on people’s actions and personalities around each other. With the influence of social media and their creators, the “trends” seem to vary in types of involvement. Starting from dances and comedy skits, influencers have needed to have up the excitement in videos make it to the “For You Page” (FYP) on Tik Tok or whatever social media page that person has. Unfortunately, these skim the line of innocence and danger, creating a cause for concern.

Back in 2017, everyone was exposed to the boiling water challenge, in which one would throw a bucket of boiling water on an unsuspecting bystander. Now with popular influencers, the “prank” was watched and monitored to make sure that they were safe. However, the children who didn’t have help on hand would try to recreate that fame. Unfortunately, this is extremely dangerous and harmful for what would seem like obvious reasons. This caused those who were sprayed by the water to experience an assortment of burns to the skin, that is if the skin was not burned off at that point, and it hopefully was not near the face. The problem is no one would hear about this, and people don’t get to see these things because they don’t get posted, creating a cycle of kids seeing the good and never hearing about the bad.

In 2018, the possibility of fame was offered to those who had participated in the Tide Pod challenge. The idea of the challenge was to eat a Tide laundry detergent packet because of a pre-existing joke online about how Tide Pods ‘looked like they would taste good. The problem with this is that it can lead to a selection of problems to the body, even lead to death because they are willingly eating packets used to kill bacteria and dirt on clothing. Unfortunately, these packets to kill that bacteria contain lethal toxins. This is why the warning on the box mentions the lethality of the packets.

Even then with those being some of the more notable dangers in the past couple of years, in 2021, we saw the introduction of the Devious Lick challenge, in which students stole school supplies and vandalized bathrooms within the school for some amount of fame on Tik Tok. This resulted in students stealing anything they could fit in their bags, with the full support of those watching. The videos gain popularity and some kids got very aggressive in their attempts making schools flail around to try and get a grasp on the situation.

Finally, after all of this in Carlisle, the videos got far worse than stealing a mask bin at school, with the occupants in a Walmart lighting the toy section on fire, and the person being praised through their increasing popularity from the exposure and fame from being so crazy they would light a fire for fame.

Fox 43

The problem is that people are influenced by those who are popular and when small kids see grown adults do something like eat a Tide Pod packet, spray each other with boiling water, or something else that’s also dangerous, they see the impact it has on social media and they want to copy that magic. So they steal school supplies for the Devious Lick or they copy the “pranks” they see on social media without any supervision and they get hurt, but because of this the accidents never get posted on Tic Tok so the next kid never sees the bad in the trend. So they continue till the trend ruins enough small lives and they need to up the ante, so they try something that even their favorite influencers haven’t done.  While they get support for it at the moment, does the charge for arson no longer matter?

Disclaimer: Articles designated as “Editorial” represent the views and opinions of the author, not the 2021-2022 Periscope staff, CHS/CASD administration, or the CHS student body.