The second death linked to the online fad of “Neknominations” appears to have happened in South Wales yesterday morning. This follows the death in Ireland last week the authorities have also linked to the drinking challenge. Here’s the issue though – how many die anyway of alcohol related idiocy anyway?
We’ve all done it: lined up the shots, made ridiculously strong cocktails, gone to the “69p drinks nights” and overindulged – so why is this news? Well there’s peer pressure to comply, again this is not new I remember (vaguely) several nights where we egged each other on to do shots of the most horrific and bizarre drinks the bars had to offer – from Chartreuse to Sambuca and beyond. It’s just part of our culture and unhealthy obsession in the UK with drinking to get drunk.
All these people jumping on the bandwagon to complain about the trend have probably overindulged themselves at points in the past and the hypocrisy is scary. I think the big issue behind the Neknominations is that we can all see it happening online – it’s hidden in homes or bars anymore – it’s there on our Facebook and Twitter Feeds. And the two deaths aside (as nothing has been proved and the families both deserve their space) this is about individuals not a cult online phenomena.
We all have the ability to say no to these challenges – it’s no different to the chain letters of the 80s, emails of the 90s and the walking cancer woman of the 00s. It’s not a horror film where the world ends or a dark-haired girl will crawl out of your TV and kill you. If we all just say no and move on with our lives then it’ll stop, but some people don’t have the self-control to do that. I’ve heard random conversations in class and in the lifts about people worrying about what they have in the house to drink because they’ve been challenged. There are examples of participants downing large glasses of straight spirits, full bottles in some cases and you know what – they deserve what they get as far as I’m concerned.
If you as a fully grown adult cannot refuse a stupid dare then there’s something wrong with you. Ah is someone going to call you names? Get a grip! While I take no pleasure in the loss of life in the cases on the news you have to look at the bigger issue here of our national approach to alcohol and the culture of drinking to get drunk. Yes with hindsight it’s easy to look back and laugh and shake my head at the daftness of our youth, but some people never grow out of it and alcohol becomes the crutch they need every weekend – or even night. As always it’s up to the individual – just as Neknominations are – and I’m always in the corner of personal choice, but maybe occasionally a wee bit of common sense wouldn’t go amiss too.