One recent trend that is quietly harming many teenagers is the Blue Whale Challenge. Let us try to understand what it is all about.
What is the Blue Whale Challenge?
A 21-year-old named Philipp Budeikin created the Blue Whale Challenge. He apparently wanted to ‘cleanse’ the society. This ‘trending’ game is causing significant distress to the affected teenagers and their parents. It has also proved to be disturbing for the people who are simply aware of it.
This challenge has been a viral trend in countries like Europe, Russia, the United Kingdom and America of late. As many as 130 people in Russia committed suicide due to this game.It includes 50 tasks that player has to complete within 50 days. The list is basically full of tasks that make the players hurt themselves more and more until they commit suicide!
The game is designed in such a way that it evokes interest, curiosity, and commitment. The tasks in the Blue Whale Challenge act like a fishing net- people walk into the net thinking these are just harmless activities. But it’s pretty late by the time they realize what the tasks are doing to them. There’s hardly a chance to escape at that time for many.
The first few tasks are simpler in comparison to the ones that come later. They are designed in such a way that they manipulate the player. The tasks target their psyche in such a way that they become more and more vulnerable to follow and give into the pressure, threats, and manipulation of the administrators during the later tasks. There are tasks like waking up in the middle of the night and watching extremely disturbing videos. These tasks then trouble the player constantly.
How does the Blue Whale Challenge affect the players?
Because of the extreme stress, lack of sleep, tiredness and mental confusion the player experiences, a player or “whale” is unable to think clearly. This makes them unable to make sound decisions for themselves. They become more impressionable and susceptible to following the directions of the “curator”.
What can we do to help?
This challenge has recently reached India and thus requires immediate attention and action. We can take the following steps:-
- Increasing the knowledge about this challenge amongst teens as well as adults.
- People need to understand that the one who created the Blue Whale Challenge never had good (or even sensible) intentions.
- The danger levels of some of the tasks reflect the unstable mind of the creator.
- It is also important to understand that the challenge is dangerous, manipulative and extremely harmful.
Parents who suspect that their children may fall into this trap can take the following steps:-
- Keep a check on your child. However, this doesn’t mean you must spy on them and invade their privacy. Rather, just be observant and keep an eye on whether they have started indulging in some potentially dangerous behavior.
- Talk to them; give them support and understanding. Get them help from mental health professionals if needed.
- If necessary, tell them how this challenge is manipulative.
- Talk to your friends who might be falling into the trap of the Blue Whale Challenge. Try to ensure they have someone to talk to before they take any drastic step.
- If you notice that someone suddenly has cuts and bruises on their body, talk to them about it.
- Look out for self-harming behaviors like poking self with needles, cutting oneself, watching disturbing videos, waking up at odd hours, sitting or standing on the edge of high places etc.
- Not talking to anyone and uploading statuses that say “I am whale” are also signs that a person is participating in the Blue Whale Challenge.
The Blue Whale Challenge shows us how something as interesting as internet-based games and ‘challenges’ can be used to kill people. Besides being extremely careful, click here to contact a Counsellor if you know anyone who might be participating in the deadly Blue Whale Challenge.
What do you think about this recent trend? Let us know in the comments below!