The Dangers of Neknominations
NEKNOMINATIONS are the new social media craze to hit our society in the last weeks. Our newspapers and TV screens have been filled with stories of young people who have tragically lost their life from taking part or who have – as I read during the week in one newspaper – received death threats for taking part. The girl in question has swallowed a fish during her particular neknomination.
Now, granted I am nearly 30, so I may have a bit more cop-on than these young kids. I say kids, because that’s what they are acting like. But I think it’s more than that. See, I don’t drink alcohol. I haven’t had an alcoholic drink for about six or 7 years now. Before you start thinking I’m preaching from my high horse, I’m not. I’m simply setting the scene. I don’t drink, so therefore I don’t understand the need or want to drink vasts amount of alcohol and video yourself doing something ridiculous and dangerous. And for what? Recognition? From who exactly?
One man who has done it and is leading a campaign on Facebook against Neknominations is Mick McLoughlin, a musician and busker from Dublin. “It’s getting out of hand, if someone wants to drink a pint of vodka, drink the pint of vodka; don’t brag about it“. But Mick took part in a Neknomination of sorts himself which is why he feels so strongly about it, “I did it, but I didn’t video it or anything“. So why did he take part in it? “The lads were doing it. It started off with who can drink a can of beer the quickest, then went on to Captains Morgans, then vodka – just pure infantile idiocy.”
So I have to ponder the question: is it an age thing? I’m nearly 30, Mick is in his late 30’s. Most of the stories appearing in the media surrounding this situation are of those in their early 20’s. So is it a case that these young people are so desperate to fit in with their peers and are bowing down to peer pressure for fear of being ‘unfriended’ on Facebook?
Mick reckons that Facebook is ruining society as we know it, “Likes and shares are becoming more important than sitting down and having a conversation with someone“. There is some element of truth in that statement. After all that’s why these videos are being made – to put them on to a social networking site to gain likes and comments. Whoever gets the most likes and comments wins. “The only things that people should be sharing on Facebook is something they’ve been struggling for, like passing their driving test or something”
As with most things, there is a positive angle to this too. A very clever concept called RAKnomination emerged last week. This is where a random act of kindness is carried out and people video it. This seems like a genuinely nice thing to do. However Mick is not fully convinced “Why can’t people just do it? Why do they need to video it?” I must admit I partially agree.
There are far wider consequences of this new fad though. Young adults want recognition from their friends on Facebook with likes and comments. There are so many variables to think about when having the discussion about this topic which most people seem to be choosing to ignore. There is an argument to be had that this whole phenomenon demonstrates what the rest of the world has seen Ireland to be for a long time, a nation of drunk people. However I think this is more to do with the young people’s desire to fit in and be liked by their peers and yes even people they don’t know. It’s a sad state of affairs. Sad but true. My only wish is that RAKnomination begins to outweigh Neknomination. That’s the type of world I want to live in.
Photos c/o news.ie.msn.com