In the comments section of a small town Facebook group, a man tells a mother that her son is not missing, he is merely partaking in a “48 hour challenge,” which encourages kids to “disappear” for days until they are caught or time runs out. I read the comment over and over, confused, since I, a “kids,” had never heard of such a thing. Surely, through the magic of the internet and the sheer vastness of youth I follow on social media, I would have seen something about a “go missing” challenge, since damn near everything else makes its way to my dash.
So I did a google. Y’know, like you do when something doesn’t add up. And sure enough, right on top of the search results is a Snopes article addressing parental fears of internet challenges and calling them out for what they are, largely a hoax. A few isolated games of truth or dare that made their way to the internet. Some kids trying to recreate Nerve or whatever. But not, in fact, a widespread wave of irresponsible behavior by youth en mass.
This morning, Camp Oak Hallows of Central Texas shared a Twitter poll asking the very question I am: How often do kids actually participate in these dangerous “challenge” trends?
And the results so far? “Yeah, no, that’s something you laugh at, not something you DO.”
We as a generation of sweeping technological change are responsible for setting the precedents of our own future, and that means keeping our reputation (mostly) intact as innovators, artists, survivors, students. We must utilize our time and tools to contradict the annoying rhetoric surrounding us, that we’re a broken generation of dumbasses that’ll believe whatever we read on these goddamn phones! So go answer that poll, and retweet it, maybe. Then share this article next time you see someone trying to make a dangerous and rude generalization about a generation more powerful than they could ever hope to be. Ciao!