A study carried out by experts from the University of California revealed that receiving many “likes” in the photos or videos that children and adolescents publish on social networks causes an increase in neural activity in the areas involved in the reward system and social recognition. Basically, the more “I like” photos and videos, the greater sense of satisfaction.
The researchers also discovered that the “likes” of photos or videos associated with risks or dangers not only increase that satisfaction at the brain level, but also decrease neural activity in the prefrontal area, specifically in the area related to the perception of danger and alertness. This not only explains why adolescents take on viral challenges that put their integrity at risk, but also shows that they are not fully aware of the dangers to which they are exposed, while feeling satisfied.
The Five Most Risk Viral Challenges Among Teens
- The blue whale. It is one of the first viral challenges and the one that has generated the most stir around the world. Basically, the challenge consists of completing a series of tasks, many of which put the physical and psychological integrity of the participant at risk, the last being suicide.
- Kiki Challenge. The challenge, which has gone around the world and has even been joined by police officers and celebrities, consists of getting out of a moving car and dancing to the song “In my feelings” by rapper Drake next to the moving vehicle or in front of the same, in the middle of the road. Hence, it is also known as the “In My Feelings” challenge.
- The Chinese alphabet. Also known as “The Devil’s Alphabet” is one of the latest challenges in social networks. This is a challenge in which one of the participants must recite the alphabet aloud, saying a word that begins with the corresponding letter while another person scrapes each of the letters on the page with their fingernail, scissors or a knife. hand, increasing speed and pressure as the alphabet progresses.
- MOMO. Although it seems to indicate that it is a hoax, the truth is that the Civil Guard issued an alert about this challenge in which the victim is encouraged to carry out certain tasks, which may include violent actions or even suicide, after stealing personal information of whoever adds the “momo” contact.
- Bird Box Challenge. This is one of the latest challenges to go viral in much of the world and it carries numerous risks for those who join the challenge. It is based on the film Bird Box and its objective is for the participants to carry out their daily tasks with a blindfold, just like the protagonists of the film.
Strengthen your self-esteem
The self-esteem of many children and adolescents is largely dependent on the “likes” they receive on social networks. Basically, the “likes” are an indicator of how popular and accepted they are in your group of friends, which means that they will do everything in their power to get them, even if it means putting their safety at risk.
Strengthen the confidence that your child has in you
Another key to detecting viral challenges that can put the safety of children and adolescents at risk is to strengthen their trust in you. Many of the victims of these challenges do not trust their parents, or at least not enough to tell them about their insecurities and, as a result, end up giving in to pressure from peers or complete strangers.