Have We Created a Monster?

Social Media was created as a tool to connect us, and to help make communication easier. It was meant to bring each other together. A simple process, that was meant to connect relatives from afar, to open the lines of communication between those with a voice and the voiceless, or to simply speak to your best friend online when you didn’t feel like speaking on the phone.

It began in 1997 with what is considered to be the first Social Media Platform named Six Degrees. They worked off of what’s known as the “Six Degrees of Separation” rule, which is the premise that there are six degrees of separation among every living being, and that by using their platform it would help you to connect with those people.

Currently, we have platforms that far exceed the capabilities of Six Degrees, such as TikTok, Instagram, Youtube, Facebook (Meta), Twitter. While so much good comes from the use of those platforms, such as finding missing children , starting fundraisers to help with disaster relief, or spreading awareness for mental health, these platforms also tend to bring out the absolute worst in people. While I would love to focus on all of the good, I can’t ignore the troubling direction social media is heading in.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve noticed an increased trend in “Clout Chasing”. In short, Clout Chasing is essentially dropping any ounce of morals you have in order to become “Internet Famous”.

Here are a few dangerous trends that are popular amongst Clout Chasers, to highlight how far users will go in order to get “Clout”.

Devious Licks”
Devious Licks are where users of TikTok steal or vandalize items from their school, which include bathroom stall doors, soap dispensers or classmates personal items. They post the short video showing the act to their TikTok account in order to gain a following, it’s typically full of vulgar language and obnoxious laughs. This is the direction social media has been heading in for a while now, but with more Covid mandates and closures, it seems it has only ramped up the behaviour of these Clout Chasers.

Nutmeg Challenge”
The Nutmeg Challenge consists of the user mixing two tablespoons of ground nutmeg in water, to achieve an effect similar to LSD.

“The Skull Breaker Challenge”
The challenge consists of someone jumping in the air and having their legs kicked out from under them.

These are just a few examples of the many, and it leads me to question who is at fault here?

Personally, I believe Social Media Influencers have abused these platforms and play a major part in the negative direction it’s heading. A lot of these influencers begin these trends, and show children that committing petty crimes in order to become “Internet Famous” is hilarious. They’re creating a narcissistic cult following, who will follow at their lead and mimic bad behaviour in return for 100 followers or 1,000 views.

So I ask again, have we created a monster?

Facebook: Are Social Media Influencers to blame for recent surge in dangerous TikTok Challenges? https://bit.ly/3GZx6cG

Twitter: Recent TikTok Challenge trending for the wrong reasons. Are we at fault?
#TikTok #NutMegChallenge https://bit.ly/3GZx6cG

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