Omg smh at #neknominations. Ppl are craycray.
Translation: The latest Facebook trend is a drinking game known as NekNomination. And it’s weird.
Videos of NekNominations are springing up all over Facebook and Youtube showing individuals doing outlandish stunts while downing a beer.
The premise of a NekNomination is a little more involved than your average planking or Tebowing shot. NekNominees usually record themselves doing some sort of stunt – be it making snow angels in -10°F weather wearing only a pair of tighty whities or rolling down the street on a children’s tricycle – while chugging – or “necking” – a pint of beer or hard liquor. The nominee then nominates a friend to out-chug him or her, often time including a deadline of 24 hours.
The fad seems to have originated in Australia gaining widespread social media attention in early January of this year and has since jumped the Pacific Ocean, touching down at college campuses all over North America, as well as spreading across Europe. And though it may seem like harmless fun, some nominees are taking their stunts to dangerous levels including chugging a beer while driving down a busy street (see the video below) or finishing off massive quantities of hard liquor in under 60 seconds.
“Very disturbing for me to stand here and watch,” says Constable Cory Jamieson, coordinator for the Saint John Police Force's Drug Abuse Resistance Education program in New Brunswick. “Young bodies are still growing, still developing and alcohol is not designed for those young bodies. And quite frankly, I've seen through my service as an officer while dealing with young people, they can get highly intoxicated very quickly based on their size."
Adding to the controversy is the recent death of an Irish teen. Jonny Byrne, 19, died this past weekend after jumping into a river as part of his NekNomination challenge. His brother issued a plea on Facebook, calling for an end to the online drinking game.
Aside from the obvious health and safety concerns involved in NekNomination stunts, the long-term effects to one’s online presence is another factor to consider. Individuals are posting videos of themselves performing outlandish party stunts that are sometimes troubling or disgusting. In the video below, a man drinks a beer from a toilet, while another has his shorts lit on fire. These videos, often times with the NekNominee's name tagged to it, are going viral, being copied, being shared, and may follow the participants for the rest of their lives. It’s every career counselor’s worst nightmare.
This crazy trend has brought a couple a couple realizations in me, however. With several NekNomination videos appearing on my Facebook newsfeed and me left scratching my head, I realize that I may have officially crossed into that Kids today! / Stay off my lawn frame of mind from which there’s no turning back. I’ve also realized that, after viewing some wild Australian NekNomination videos, the 1995 Simpsons episode Bart vs. Australia might just have successfully encapsulated a few of Australia’s more enthusiastic beer drinkers.