IN THE past few weeks, it has become virtually impossible to scroll down your Facebook newsfeed without coming across yet another video of one of your friends taking part in the latest internet craze.
‘Neck and nominate’, otherwise known as ‘NeckNomination’, is a simple but potentially dangerous drinking game, organised by social media.
In the game, one drinker films themselves ‘necking’ a drink, and nominates two people to do ‘better’, and so on. As the game progresses, the stunts performed get even more outrageous, bizarre and even lethal.
Videos that have been clogging up my newsfeed include people downing not just alcohol but dog food, raw eggs fairy liquid and urine!
The game has spiraled out of control, the dangerous effects of these ‘nominations’ tragically believed to have claimed two lives in Ireland.
Police are investigating the sudden death of Ross Cummings, with no apparent explanation for his collapse, other than his participation in this absurd online craze.
Just hours later another Irish teenager, Jonny Bryne, jumped into the River Barrow and drowned after videoing his own ‘NeckNomination’ entry.
The game is thought to have originated from Perth, Australia, but thanks to social media it has since gone global. The hashtag ‘NeckNominate’ started trending in the UK in January 2013 and has been since growing in popularity around the world.
Unsurprisingly, Neck and Nominate has been described as just ‘banter’ among friends.
But this game highlights, amongst several other issues, the negative elements of social media sites and the effect of peer pressure.
Facebook, Twitter and similar sites have created an environment where young people feel the need to constantly compete and out-do each other.
There’s a constant need to obtain social recognition from a virtual online audience.
Be it getting the most retweets, the best photos of a night out, or in this case, the most outrageous ‘neck and nominate’ cocktail they can think of.
But one man has decided to use the power of the ‘NeckNominate’ fad and the influence of the internet for good.
Brent Lindeque uploaded a video where he accepted his nomination and, instead of downing some fairy liquid and jaeger, drove to a disadvantaged area of his city and gave food to a homeless man.
He hopes that the person he nominated will do the same and a new chain will begin. In an email to ‘The Imperic’, Lindeque wrote ‘I decided to change the game as that would mean I could be proud of my online contribution as well as hopefully create a new way to do good things. Change one thing… change everything.’ Let’s hope people follow in his footsteps, rather than necking yet another disgusting drink.