Social media can be a scary place. Your children may be subject to unwanted attention from adults, inappropriate text messages or requests for pictures from peers, cyberbullying, and exposure to an infinite amount of inappropriate images and videos.
However, a highly disturbing trend across Europe and now the United States is actually costing preteens and teens their life.
It’s called the “Blue Whale Challenge”, also known as “A Silent House,” “A Sea Of Whales,” and “Wake Me Up At 4:20am.” It is a 50-day challenge that includes an increasingly more disturbing task to be performed each day and reported to a ‘curator.’ Each task is meant to demonstrate their commitment to the game and include watching horror movies, making vows, and carving words or images into their bodies.
On the final day, the player is told to end their own lives.
This is what happened to Isaiah Gonzalez, a 15-year-old boy from Texas who was the first American teenager to take his own life after completing the challenge in July. His parents say they saw no warning signs that their son would do anything like this before he hung himself in his closet and broadcast it live on social media.
Heavy.com reports that teens find the “curators” by using certain hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, such as #i_am_whale #curatorfindme #iamawhale and #f57. Searching these hashtags on any social media network turns up a disturbing number of results.
Tina the Counter Culture Mom recently spoke with the Gonzalez family to bring awareness to this devastating trend, which has already taken hundreds of lives across the globe in recent years.
It is unclear who is behind it although the man who claims to have begun the challenge was arrested in Russia last year according to Wikipedia.
If your teenagers are using social media independently, you need to be seriously concerned about this game. Children are getting sucked in and caught up in the challenges, some seemingly unaware of just how far they will go.
Monitor your children’s social media usage, talk to them, and do whatever else you might need to to protect them from the dangers of social media. You might feel the need to respect their privacy–but is their privacy more important than their lives??
Here are some of the links Tina provides so that you can educate yourself and protect your family from this horrifying trend:
Blue Whale Challenge – 5 top facts you need to know! http://heavy.com/…/blue-whale-challenge-game-how-to-play-5…/
First reported story of Isaiah’s death: https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/texas-family-says-teen-k…/…
Video of the victims of Blue Whale Challenge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vHOLTTEZ9o
Go Fund Me page for Isaiah Gonzalez (DONATE NOW): https://www.gofundme.com/isaiah-gonzalez-funeral
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (DONATENOW!): https://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm…