Social Media Challenges That Are Injuring Or Even Killing Our Youth

'They just had the Blue Whale Challenge in Russia, and 130 teenagers died'

Larry Richert and John Shumway
August 28, 2018 - 11:06 am


PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Kids from all over the world are performing dangerous social media challenges, hurting and killing themselves.

Clinical Forensic Psychologist, Dr. John Huber, joined KDKA Radio on Tuesday to talk about these challenges and why kids choose to take part in them.

“These are targeted towards young people whose brains aren’t fully developed and don’t think the way an adult brain thinks,” Huber said. “They’re primarily targeting young people who aren’t necessarily clear, they somehow think they are impervious and nothing bad is going to happen to me and that kind of thing.”

The Blue Whale Challenge

(Tasks are assigned to an individual over a 50 day period, and the final challenge is committing suicide.)

“They just had the Blue Whale Challenge in Russia, and 130 teenagers died. People are taking risks,” Dr. Huber added.

“There’s peer pressure and people trying to fit in and these challenges are escalating to a level we’ve never seen before. The people doing these challenges are anonymous. They put these things together and they sneak into different things.”

The Choking Game/Condom Snorting Challenge

(When a person snorts a condom up his or her nose and pull it out of their mouth.)

“If your snort that down your lungs and into your esophagus and you can’t get to it, you die. So insane,” Dr. Huber tells Larry and John.

“There are these lung diseases that start from these situation, like COPD, and by the time your 35 or 40, you could be on oxygen because of the damage that you’ve done to yourself.”

The Eraser Challenge

(When two people read the alphabet while scratching his or her skin with an eraser. After letter Z, the friends compare who lost more skin.)

“It’s not going to be a one-time situation. You have to talk to your kids constantly about some of the crazy stuff that’s going on. Try not to sensationalize it, but talk to them about how people don’t realize how they can harm themselves,” said Huber.

“Peer pressure is bad enough when you have a person in your classroom or maybe one of your friends doing something like this, but when you have peers who are maybe around the world on another part of the planet, the pressure can be phenomenal.”

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