Much like a number of other challenges that have taken the internet by storm in recent months, TikTok has been a part of a growing trend on social media. People seem to be adapting to the culture of trying to exhibit something eccentric that would make their clips more noticeable. It’s important to acknowledge that some people seem to overlook the fact that their stunts and extreme social media addiction can sometimes be fatal.
Such is the case of a 12 year old boy who choked himself to death while performing a TikTok challenge
According to India Today, a boy in Rajhastan hung himself from a noose after wearing ‘Mangalsutra’ (a traditional Indian necklace) and bangles, apparently while following a TikTok challenge.
His parents found him hanging from his bathroom ceiling the next morning. The boy’s father said that the state he was found in was exactly like that described in the TikTok challenge.
It’s astounding to realize that something as harmless as an app can have the influence on a child to take his own life. But this isn’t the only instance where people have gone overboard to please their viewers on TikTok.
Another report recently surfaced where a 23 year old man broke his spinal cord, (and then later died) while attempting to do a somersault for TikTok.
The man, Kumar also from India, had experienced serious injuries while attempting a stunt for TikTok on school grounds. He was admitted to the hospital right away where his body refused to respond tot the treatment and he lost his life.
This video went viral soon afterwards:
— News18 Kannada (@News18Kannada) June 18, 2019
How far will people go for social media clout, fame or attention?
Crazy challenges and crossing the limit is not only limited to TikTok. People have been doing insane challenges since forever. It has been linked to risky behavior for attention, for notoriety and due to peer pressure and bullying.
We’ve also seen that daredevils like Wu Yongning have lost their lives while yearning to attempt stunts that would get them more likes and subscribers.
In 2017, this 26 year old Chinese daredevil plunged to his death while clinging to the side of a skyscraper and filming his stunt when he lost his grip and fell from the 62- story building. According to his friends, Wu was planning to propose to his girlfriend the next day after his stunt and was going to use the money to pay for his wedding and for medical help for his sick mother.
Also, according to News 18 , Anitha, a 24 year old mother of two children committed suicide after being scolded by her husband who asked her to change her habit of using TikTok excessively. Her husband, Pazhanivel, stated that she was addicted to the app and he often discouraged her for doing so.
Moreover, Anitha filmed herself while drinking the poison and sent it to her husband who was in Singapore at the time.
— Vickram Bisyar (@BisyarVickram) June 14, 2019
Seeing this excessive, irrational behavior on social media one does understand why TikTok was recently banned in India, it has since been unbanned. However, we all know bans rarely work in actually solving a problem, the ever increasing number of alcohol consumers, despite a country-wide ban on it, is proof of that.
So yeah, digital addiction is real and we should try our best to steer clear of the consequences it can have on our mental health. There needs to be a proper infrastructure developed to help young vulnerable minds understand and learn the effects on their mental health of their lives being so connected to the internet and under constant scrutiny.
Cover image via: scoopwhoop.com / thehansindia.com