The nation is shuddered by the unfortunate death of a 14-year-old student, who apparently ended his life by jumping off from the terrace of his building at Andheri. Reason? Well, this was the last task he had to perform for being a participant of a fatal online challenge called ‘The Blue Whale’.
What is the ‘Blue Whale Challenge?’
As per the reports, this Blue Whale challenge or Blue Whale Dare is one of its kind, which starts with the participants given a daily task to complete each day. The dare continues for a span of 50 days, with enhancement of difficulty levels, eventually leading to the participant’s death. The group of administrators or the ‘curator’ asks the participants to share photos of the challenges completed by them. The final task always demands to commit suicide.
The list of daily tasks enlists listening to specific genres of music, waking up at odd hours, watching a horror movie, and stuffs similar to this. As the game precedes, the nature of the tasks become dangerous and bloody. In the last few days, participants are even asked to carve out shapes on one’s skin, self-mutilation and finally the ultimate step.
The game had its inception around 2013 in Russia, by Philipp Budeikin, a 22-year-old Russian, who claims to have invented the challenge played on the popular Russian social media site, VKontakte or VK, as it is popularly known as. VK is the largest social networking site in Europe. This is available in several languages, including English, and is the reason why teens from the USA and other English-speaking countries are the participants.
The recent past has also witnessed this game is available on various mobile apps, many of which have been removed from the internet now.
What parents can do to prevent:
Patience and understanding are most needed at this juncture. The parents should keep conversing with their children about online trends and chat to them regularly about the kind of games their friends are discussing. If necessary, also warn them about the peer pressure online. This includes the following steps:
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1. Create the right situation:
Make sure you both have time to talk, the atmosphere is relaxed, and remember that this is a conversation, not an interrogation.
Avoid solely talking at them. Listen to their concerns and their experiences.
3. Acknowledge their worries:
Dismissing their feelings will only shut down the conversation and make them reluctant to talk about what鈥檚 bothering them.
4. Help them practice ways of saying no:
Rehearsing with them ways to stand up to peer pressure and coming up with alternatives for them will build their confidence.
5. Keep the conversation going:
Let them know that they can always come to you if they have more worries, and take an interest in how they get on saying ‘no’. For further help and assistance, they might even resort to NGOs.
Though social media platforms like Instagram have resorted to issuance of warning if any topic related to this deadly dare is searched, yet a lot needs to be done. The links, pictures are not yet blocked on the social media platforms, which could pull chains on spreading this game.