Tip of the Week

Another Day, Another Online Challenge

You may have heard about the latest online challenge: the skull breaker. It involves three people standing in a line who jump at the same time. While the middle person is in the air, the other two people knock that person’s feet out from under them, resulting in an epic fall. It was a trending hashtag on TikTok, got some press, and then was replaced by backlash hashtags about how stupid it was.

That's the typical life cycle of online challenges like these, most frequently seen on TikTok and YouTube : They pop up and go viral, but as soon as they rise to the attention of adults, they fade away. Usually in their wake is a lot of commentary about the danger of online challenges. So, given that parents are hardly ever in on the trend before it's on its way out, the best defense is to talk to your kid about challenges in general. If a challenge could result in injury to people or harm to property, like the recent Penny Challenge that caused some fires, it's off limits, no matter how popular. If your kid feels compelled to participate, encourage them to be the first one to call out the danger or ridiculousness, as rebuke usually trends, too. Ultimately, it's important to talk to kids about how the lure of likes can make us do stupid things, and that pausing to stop and think is one of the most important online challenge there is.