Neknominate has become a buzz word in our generation of recent times, everyone is talking about it, some are taking part.
It has also been in the news in recent days after the death of two young men who are believed to have died taking part in this social media craze.
Here in Derry teenagers have been consuming urine and bleach in order to outdo each other.
I first came across it on a Facebook newsfeed less than a month ago. I was horrified watching a local young man drink a half of bottle of vodka in less than two minutes. In a matter of hours the video had went viral having over a million likes.
My Facebook newsfeed is now filled with similar videos and, from talking to my friends, I was quick to discover that not only is this viral video craze that everyone my age has experience of but it is a serious Facebook challenge with rules.
The first rule is to use a pint glass. The second rule is to put as many insane ingredients in the pint glass as possible and consume it as quickly as you can. Rule three is to video this challenge upload it to Facebook #Neknominate and nominate a friend who you want to do this challenge. Rule four is that your friend’s challenge has to be carried out within 24 hours and has to be more insane than yours or they face the taunting, embarrassment and ridicule on Facebook.
This online bullying tactic is a reason why a lot of teenagers take the Neknominate dare. They fear the online backlash from friends and other people on social media sites. The craze feeds into the teenage psyche completely, the need to fit in.
I know teenagers from Derry taking part in the Neknominate challenge who have consumed toilet water, their own urine, raw eggs, ten glasses of spirits and many more disgusting ingredients. One teenager I know mixed chilli powder with bleach.
Local GP, Doctor McCloskey from Aberfoyle Medical Practice, told me that consuming bleach could certainly cause death. He also warned that although drinking your own urine was not life threatening, he would not recommend it for human consumption.
So far, two people’s deaths have been linked to the drinking game.
If any lessons are to be learned from this craze we should look at the devastation that these people’s family now feel. As a teenager of Derry I believe it is time we all stopped neking and nominating. We do not need to mourn any more young lives.