Social networking nominations

Last week the phrase ‘neck and nominate’ sadly reached my Facebook feed. For those of you who don’t know, a neck-nomination is, perhaps as it sounds, a drinking competition. People, usually Uni students, record a video of themselves necking a large quantity of alcohol, sometimes in a bizarre way (like upside-down) and then challenge two or three friends to outdo their effort within 24 hours. It sounds pretty stupid because it is.

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The competition and peer pressure factors to this fad have seen it escalate rapidly. My halls has produced two students downing a pint of vodka, followed by shots of sambuca and absinthe respectively. Even more disturbing attempts have gone viral over the internet. As you will probably be fearing at this point – yes, people have already died taking part. No doubt those videos were taken down quickly. They effectively depict the accidental suicide of someone trying to impress their rallying friends. Imagine how their nominator must feel.

I was nominated. While I like a drink as much as anyone else, I boycotted partaking outright. The response to my decision from friends was really interesting. Even those who had already taken part themselves completely supported my decision. This was mildly assuring but also rather sad. It seems that after over a week of the deluded craze, people on my Facebook feed have finally accepted the obvious. The atmosphere of peer pressure is clearing, but only to reveal the damage already done. It’s all well and good that people are now sharing the responses that condemn the activity, but their hypocrisy is laughable. Regret is spreading amongst my friends, the reality hitting home with texts from concerned family members who have seen their published attempts.

In light of this, I still truly believe social networking does more good than bad.

If you had heard of this fad, you might not be aware of its replacement craze. The ‘RAK nomination’ stands for random acts of kindness. Instead of spending an hour watching stomach-churning neck nominations, I recommend checking out these heart-warming RAK videos. I won’t remember the guy who drank a pint of mouthwash, but I might just remember the lad I saw in the street yesterday, offering the first slice of his newly bought Dominoes to a Big Issue salesman.

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