Social media has definitely provided many memorable moments, including various challenges. But the latest challenge that has gone viral is stupid. And dangerous! Indeed, the “skull-breaker” challenge fad on the so-popular platform TikTok is causing children serious injuries.
THE “SKULL-BREAKER” CHALLENGE
At first, the videos appear completely inoffensive and fun, showing three teenagers standing side by side, supposedly coordinating for a dance number. In the prank, one person is tricked by the two others into jumping for the video. Then, while the person in in mid-air, the two others swipe at it’s feet, making them crash land to the ground. And a lot of times, the victim of the prank hit their head on the ground as they tumble backwards, sometimes suffering head injuries, spinal injuries and concussions.
ON CHILDREN AND THEIR ACCESS TO AN AUDIENCE
Despite the serious injuries involved, and the easiness with which children have access to social media, and therefore, big audiences, very few eyebrows were raised. It shows how low the bar is when it comes to children when they have access to a smart phone… And though eyes are turning towards TikTok with concerns about safety, shouldn’t parents be more concerned about what their children do on social media ? What most people may not realize nowadays is that minors’ behaviors are changing, due to their persistent presence online and the adrenaline that going viral can bring them, while they are endangering themselves and others.
THE DANGER IS REAL
Besides the very stupid things that children might do to challenge each other, parents should also know that their kids are most probably followed by strangers, even if their accounts are private. And there’s always the porn. Ask yourself this: Does your child really knows and has a relationship with over 500 people ? Wanting to belong is absolutely understandable, and peer pressure is real. If getting rid of the apps your children love is not the solution, hands-on parenting definitely is. Talk to your children about self control, compassion, empathy towards others. Explain to them how their posts may affect or hurt others. Make them aware.