We had planking, we had the ‘stunt selfies’…and now we have Nek Nominations. This new trend is believed to have emerged from Australia with the aim of the game being to post a video of yourself on social media while downing drinks. The most popular drink of choice is unsurprisingly alcohol. However, while downing drinks is an acceptable way to play the game, it would hardly have gained popularity without it becoming a bit extreme, such as by mixing different types of drinks together. So every video would comprise three main elements: the mixing of the drink, the downing and of course, the nomination. Every participant must then nominate someone else to play the game within twenty-four hours. And thus the game becomes an endless cycle of downing and nominating.
This type of trend comprises most things teenagers and youth love: drinking, friends and competition. So it is hardly surprising this game has started to become known all over, including on our little island of Malta.
But an online search of this intriguing Nek Nomination does not bring up pleasant stories. This game is suspected to be the cause of four deaths in the United Kingdom: two in Ireland, one in England and more recently one in Wales. The latter is believed to have downed a pint of vodka with wine and whiskey. Anyone who has tried drinking whiskey after a bottle of wine knows that the consequences of this are not pretty. Tragically, this young man still in his twenties died in his sleep.
When looking at some other things people have dared to drink, one begins to wonder if the game has gone too far, especially since it has degenerated into drinking car oil, animal blood, battery fluid, urine and even a goldfish. With everyone trying to outdo each other I do not even wish to imagine what other liquids (or fish) are going to be consumed next.
When scrolling for long enough however one may find the occasional hilarious prank. One famous incident includes a twenty-one year old woman riding into her local Tesco on a horse and then downing a can of coke. Despite the risk of hurting other people, this prank is unequivocally hilarious without causing harm or death to the participant or general audience.
A concern of some people viewing these videos is whether this may be considered as peer pressure, since the videos include the tagging of friends as well as the nomination of someone else. The nominee may feel too pressured and thus end up succumbing to a game he or she may not wish to be included in. This is all fair and true, however adolescence is a time where peer relationships take over, therefore peer pressure cannot be prevented. Also, youth are forever looking for new and exciting things to do with friends. So instead, why not stick to harmless pranks such as the ‘legendary’ horse prank? Why must we always take things to a deadly extreme? Personally, I would be much more entertained seeing videos of pranks, as well as planning and doing them myself rather than hearing more and more terrible stories of youth dying from a game gone wrong. But that’s just my two-cents.