Why people engage in risky online challenges

in #life5 years ago (edited)

Are netizens crazy? Or is it the internet that infects people with irrationality? Well, netizens are not crazy, at least not all of them. And maybe the internet changes people. Opposing sentiments can arise as we try to answer such questions. Regardless of personal opinions though, the past decade has proved that the internet can influence individuals to perform some stunts that only Hollywood can rival. Bullying and general cruelty are the most pronounced traits observed among most netizens. However, in recent times, internet challenges have gained popularity among internet users causing them to engage in risky conducts.


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The release of the post-apocalyptic thriller, Bird Box, was warmly received by netizens who decided to replicate the idea in the movie in the Bird Box challenge. In the movie, characters must operate while blindfolded in order to avoid some mysterious monsters. Inspiration from this movie caused masses on the internet to perform daily tasks with blindfolds on. Netflix, discerning the risk the challenge poses to those undertaking it, cautioned people against it. Unfortunately, netizens have proven to be very committed towards those actions they are warned to stay away from. Some have as a result gone ahead to engage in the Bird Box challenge to some injurious results.

Over the years, there have been numerous challenges with risky implications. Examples of dares that netizens have attempted include the fire challenge, cinnamon challenge, and space monkey challenge among others. Sadly, albeit inevitably, there have been casualties along the way.

It is impossible not to wonder why people would engage in undertakings that are labeled risky. Why risk life for a challenge? Well, there are numerous debatable reasons as to why individuals opt to partake of dangerous endeavors. Importantly, it should be noted that the reasons offered below are not universally applicable since people differ and so do their inspirations and intentions.

Peernet pressure

Peer pressure affects all of us at some point in our lives. Sometimes people just want to do what everyone else is doing just so that they are not left out. Sometimes, individuals are pushed so hard that they eventually cave in and find themselves in situations they would not be in normally. Other times it is the desire to prove a particular point that causes us to cave into influence by peers. No one can claim to have gone through life minus peer pressure; it's impossible.

Peernet pressure is simply a transfer of the same influence among netizens. It is widely known that interactions between netizens can turn even the most polite and soft-spoken soul into a standoffish commenter. Challenges on the internet thrive due to the pressure among netizens. People will engage in some senseless activities simply because of the hype being propagated across the net or to fit among fellow net users.

Thrill and the meaning of life

Psychologists agree that sometimes, people make sense of their lives as they engage in thrilling activities that cause their adrenaline levels to skyrocket. A life void of thrill and excitement is unfathomably stale. As such, people occasionally try out activities that increase their heartbeats and breathing rates; something to make them feel alive albeit temporarily. Engagements that cause such thrill can differ from one person to another in terms of intensity. However, regardless of the choice of an undertaking, we all need a pinch of excitement in life.

Unfortunately, netizens are widely known for their tendency to take thrill seeking a bit too far. This is why they will engage in perilous challenges without considering that they may lose their lives as they seek to find a meaning for it.

Hopelessness

It is likely that this point may draw a fair share of controversy and divisions. However, it is impossible to dismiss the possibility that even the tiniest fraction of people getting involved in risky actions have in some way lost hope. It is widely accepted that hopelessness causes people to lower their guard especially in regards to their security and well-being. As such, a person on the verge of giving up or one who is already trekking the path of despair may choose to engage in an online challenge.

However unfortunate that may sound, there is a likelihood that it does happen for some people. It is therefore important for the rest of us to stay vigilant in identifying people who have lost hope and helping them in as much as we can.

In summary, internet challenges can be a source of fun and entertainment. However, as the challenges continue to don a fatal trait, it is perhaps time to reconsider such engagements. For netizens, regardless of their intentions, it is important to prioritize personal safety when considering an internet challenge. Those who may be in despair, it is the duty of those around them to offer support so as to ensure such people are not drawn in life-threatening activities. All in all, caution should be encouraged whenever a contest, a service or a product is advertised online or offline.

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