Social networks and viral challenges among adolescents are a combination that we are increasingly used to. Apparently they are just games, but sometimes they lead to risky situations that can cause very serious harm to young people. People seek fame on platforms such as Instagram, Tik Tok or Facebook without measuring the consequences that their behavior may have.
“Tetris Challenge“, “Chair Challenge“, “Broom Challenge” … The list of viral challenges on social media seems endless. Some are harmless, like the ones named above. However, there are others that represent a danger: this is the case of “Skullbreaker,” a challenge for teens that arose on TikTok.
What is the challenge? It involves three people standing next to each other in a row before jumping straight up, while the middle person jumps then the two at the ends push out the feet of the one in the middle. This action causes the person in the center to fall backward and hit the back of their head. This new teenage fashion has become popular after several videos have gone viral on Tik Tok, one of the most popular social networks at the moment.
However, this challenge could cause serious injuries to the brain and lead to a coma, prompting warnings from doctors such as a neurosurgeon at the Juárez Hospital in Mexico, Miguel Bernés Rodríguez. This specialist assured that far from being a game, this type of competition is an act of irresponsibility, this “game” is seriously dangerous since falls can lead to “tears, fractures, seizures, hemorrhages, neck sprains, bruises, and neck lashes,” and even cause “long-term damage to the brain term or death.”
For experts, this is an act of recklessness on the part of adolescents who see these challenges as just a game or an act of bravery. In one of the many videos already uploaded to Tik Tok, three boys from a high school are seen performing this challenge. A few hours later it was learned that the boy in the middle was hospitalized in intensive care for a supposed crack in his skull. This case happened at a school in Caracas, Venezuela.
On the other hand, we have a video shared on Tik Tok where three young people appear to get ready to do the “Skullbreaker” challenge, however, just at the moment when they would have to move their feet to make their partner fall, they approached the camera to give a message and raise awareness among other adolescents of their age.
“Did you really think we were going to do it? Take care, love yourself, respect your classmates,” is the phrase that young people shared and with which the video concludes.
In the discussion of how important the correct use of media and viral challenges is, Valentin Carvajal, a famous tik toker, said, “Social networks are a very powerful tool and a danger, not apparent, that must be controlled. For this reason, young people must be taught to use them wisely. Social networks are interactive and socializing spaces through which children and teenagers can isolate themselves from the world, where they can feel different or even build a personality of their own liking.”
It is important to help young people be aware of the risks of these social platforms, to know how to control themselves and to know how to enjoy them, while also having fun with other activities such as sports or a pleasant chat with family or friends.