I’ll admit it’s been a long time since I was a teenager and I don’t know any teenagers, so what they do will seem weird and stupid to me.
And as everybody my age can attest, we never did anything stupid when we were teenagers.
I came across a thing the other day that said teenagers were challenging each other on TikTok (look it up, if you must) to take Benadryl and keep taking it until they start hallucinating. If by some chance you don’t know what Benadryl is, it’s an over the counter allergy medicine that has a tendency to put you to sleep. Some people also claim it can have a calming effect, but unless you’re 15 months old, feeling sleepy does tend to calm one down.
I had no idea Benadryl could be a hallucinogenic. I have taken Benadryl over the years, but two of them tended to put me in nap mode. The idea of taking them until I saw things coming out of the walls never occurred to me.
An Oklahoma teenage girl died after taking part in the challenge, which usually involves swallowing at least 12 pills. I understand that too much of any kind of medicine can kill you, but over the counter medicine always seem kind of benign. In fact, a large majority never seems to work at all. Does that cold medicine you live on during the winter ever really do anything?
As you might have guessed, this isn’t the only questionable challenge teenagers are taking. Some TV station in Tampa recently listed the five most deadly challenges your kids and grandkids are undoubtedly doing right now. Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
1. The Outlet Challenge
The latest and dangerous challenge to make its rounds on popular social media platforms like TikTok is the “Outlet Challenge.” The challenge involves using the plug part of a phone charger, inserting it into a wall outlet and then sliding a penny down the wall onto the exposed prongs.
I consider it a major failure of the education system, or just some really stupid parenting, that if you don’t know by at least the age of seven that this can and will kill you. I mean, really people.
2. Fire Challenge
The “Fire Challenge” involves people recording themselves pouring a flammable liquid on their skin and setting themselves on fire.
If somebody says I challenge you to set yourself on fire, you may want to get new people into your life.
3. Salt and Ice challenge
This particular challenge, while it does not involve fire, can burn the skin. This challenge involves participants putting salt on exposed skin and then adding ice, holding both in place, then seeing how long they can tolerate the pain.
You can get third degree burns from this, but I can see teenage boys being enticed by this. If you can’t handle ice and salt on your skin, then you’re just not really that tough, and no teenage boy wants that said about him.
4. Tide-pod challenge
You probably know what this one is. I dare you to eat one of those plastic things filled with detergent. Been around for a couple of years. Might kill you, but will definitely make you feel like death would be a sweet release.
5. The Pass-out Challenge or the Choking Game
The “Choking Game” has made its rounds on the internet over the years. Participants intentionally cut off their oxygen with the goal of causing euphoria, but most of the time just lose consciousness.
Choking is not fun. If somebody tried to choke you, you would fight them with every last ounce of strength you had. So why do it to yourself?
Well, because teenage brains aren’t fully developed (the brain doesn’t really get going until the age of 25, research tells us), and teenagers think they’re invincible and, most importantly, if they do it, they’ll look cool. You cannot over stress how important being cool is to a teenager.
There are good challenges like the ice bucket challenge or the tip challenge or a whole bunch of dance challenges. But none of those challenges make you look “bad.” And if you were ever a teenager (I think some of you never were), you know looking “bad” is a very close second to looking cool.
Anyway, there you have it. If you see a teenager trying to electrocute themselves while choking and hallucinating, don’t get worried. But if they’re also on fire, then you might want to call somebody.