Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Last night my newsfeed on Facebook was riddled with videos of my friends chugging a beer and nominating two or three other friends to respond with a video chug of their own within 24 hours. As these chug nominations continue to spread like a bad case of herpes all over Facebook, there is a growing concern about the dangers of this trend, which has already claimed lives of participants across the globe.
These chug nominations, better known throughout social media as NekNominations, appears to have originated in Australia as a new drinking game encouraging friends to out do their nominator by excessive drinking or committing other heinous actions. The name of the game comes from the Australian term "necking," which in America translates to chugging your drink to the finish.
As this trend spreads to the University of Arizona, many are worried that this game will escalate past chugging one beer and lead to more alcohol related deaths.
Ryan Cummins, 22, and John Byrne, 19, are believed to have died this weekend in Ireland as a direct result of the Neknomination craze.
Cummins was found unconscious in his Dublin home before he later died in the hospital. Reports suspect that he was drinking spirits, better known as liquor is the US and Canada, until passing out. Byrne jumped into the river at Milford Bridge in County Carlow and drowned in his attempts to fulfill his nomination.
One beer may be an innocent way to call out your friends but what happens when nominations turn into chugging a whole fifth of liquor and performing a stunt that is already dangerous before incorporating excessive amounts of alcohol?
This game is so popular a Facebook user created a page to archive these videos called "Neknominate Videos," where you can share your own ridiculous video and view other nominations from all over the world.
Submissions range from entry level one beer chugs in dorm rooms to ridiculous combinations of liquor varying in size from a pint to a whole beer bong of booze. Some people take it to the extreme by drinking out of toilet bowls and pouring cocktails with dead mice, live animals and insects, motor oil, battery acid and even dog food.
Andrew Calder, 24, downed a pint sized glass of vodka and lemonade that included his goldfish named Soldier in the UK.
Nikki Hunter, the mother of 19 year old Keiren, posted pictures of her son covered in vomit and unconscious on their sofa after completing a nomination where he drank a combination of vodka, whiskey, Southern Comfort and Bacardi.
Other videos include costumes like Ronald McDonald or Batman but all videos follow a consistent theme: recklessly drink alcohol in the most obscene fashion possible.
It is uncertain whether this game will result in any alcohol related deaths amongst the University of Arizona student population.
However you can count on seeing more videos on Facebook and YouTube of NekNominations across the world until this trend fades out or claims enough lives for people to realize this game has gone too far.
As children, our parents teach us to not respond to peer pressure. They say, "If everyone jumps off a bridge, would you?"
Instinctively we answer "no" because we don't want to plummet to our death at the bottom of the bridge.
So why do people continue to follow this trend, which is proven to have deadly consequences?