The Neknomiate craze that has gone viral has gone too far after claiming the lives of two young men in Ireland of the weekend. The ‘game’ involves a person on camera skolling or ‘chugging’ a bottle of alcohol and then dares someone to do the same. The video is then posted to social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and whoever is next nominated does the same which has caused an ongoing ripple effect.
It started in my hometown of Perth, Western Australia but the tragic deaths took place on the other side of the world in Dublin, Ireland. This highlights how dangerous this behaviour is the era of social media because it wasn’t long before young people around the world took the game to ridiculous extremes.
19-year-old Jonny Byrne died when he jumped off a bridge as part of the dare. His body wasn’t found until more than 5 hours later. His brother made a public plea on Twitter for people to stop the Neknominations but it didn’t end there.
Also in Dublin, 22-year-old Ross Cummins was found unconscious in the floor of his home due to an alcohol overdose while playing the game. He was pronounced dead upon arrival to hospital.
With all the dares posted on social media for the world to see, it is surprising that more people hadn’t already lost their lives from the stupidity. One video which circulated in Australia involved two men skolling beers while hanging from a moving helicopter without safety restraints.
When people were killed taking part in the ‘planking’ craze in 2011, our attention was brought to how social media can promote endangering lives just to get a good photo or 15 seconds of fame. If it hasn’t ended here, it makes me worried about what the next social media craze will be.