Dangerous social media challenges

KNWA

"Likes are just as addictive as drugs"

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Concerns over a dangerous social media challenge, landing people in the hospital.

From the penny challenge, to the tide pod challenge to now the skull breaker challenge… several harmful trends on social media have gone viral. Joshua Upshaw with the department of Psychological Science at the U of A said it comes down to the power of the likes and social approval. He said it is as addictive as drugs.

The skull breaker challenge involves three people standing side by side and jumping. The two on the outside kick the legs out from under the person in the middle-sending them tumbling down. There have been reports of people hurting their heads and getting concussions from this.
Upshaw said people participate in these types of challenges to get views, likes and validation from friends. Upshaw finds these challenges popular with adolescents whose brains are still developing.

“They have situations in which their hormones are fluctuating quite a bit so you’re going to have a high degree of impulsively. You are going to have a high degree of seeking peer approval, acceptance and a high degree of perhaps rebelliousness,” said Upshaw.

Upshaw said every like on social media also causes a dopamine rush in your brain and that makes you want to engage in it more often. Upshaw doesn’t thing social media is all bad but said it’s important to understand the negative aspects of it and to use it responsibly.

Tik Tok released a statement saying safety is a top priority. It said content that encourages dangerous challenges violates its community guidelines. They plan to continue to remove that type of content from its platform.

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