In an era of fake news and Momo Hoaxes it can be hard to work out what to be worried about, or where the real danger lies.
The #TikTok #SkullBreaker Challenge is dangerous for sure. While many concerns or fears online may sometimes amount to very little – pranksters at play – no child can be sure of the way they fall, or land on the ground. In this instance, the power of choice is taken away from the individual, they are set up for a fall (literally) and will only find out the repercussions after they land.
If you search for the story there are a number of instances in which kids have been injured and ended up in hospital, blacking out, but understandably the risks are around skull fracture, neck fracture, concussion, bleeding in or around the brain, loss of consciousness, paralysis, and death. There have reports of fatalities from this, but in my view, we all need to source real facts rather than listen to media headlines unless we have the first hand or primary record. These days there is way too much fake news and it makes it hard for kids to discern what’s real or not. MySociaLife teaches that – critical thinking and the ways in which to assess what is true or not – in our 8-lesson digital life skills program in schools.
By accessing a program like ours at MySociaLife, parents can learn how to educate their kids and take them through it, explaining how easy it is for a challenge of that kind to go wrong and how it can impact everyone, not just the victim, or themselves but the family too. There are far reaching implications of someone getting hurt. And it’s worthwhile taking an interest in their lives online, finding out more about what they are browsing and searching and talking to them, but not from a lofty place but from a position of coaching and mentoring. Kids feel like they know more than adults online and so it needs to be a two-way conversation (for the most part) to make headway. Our Program reaches all the important audiences – we teach parents, teachers and school counselors – and they all report how hard it is to understand this digital world their kids inhabit, and so we guide the adults AND the students via our in-school presentations. People can find us at www.mysocialife.com or on social @MySociaLifeSA
Interestingly, this also has the double impact of physical pain and emotion pain of the embarrassment too, of the video is shared against your will. Often in social media, it’s largely a mental or emotional hurt but this time it can be more than that – physical.
I can say that the skullbreaker is being discussed in the schools we teach, not just by us, but by their Principals and teachers, so the news is out. The hard part is making students understand how easily a prank of this kind can go wrong, with serious consequences. It can come across that we are just cautious adults who”don’t get it”, but this is a challenge that is evidently harmful #IRL (In Real Life) and not just virtually. It’s visible and fact based.