College kids do a lot of dumb things. Usually drunk, but also sober and on the internet. Compared to some of the spontaneously stupid things college students do on a night out, internet challenges seem like (mostly) harmless fun. Swallowing a spoonful of cinnamon or cramming your cheeks with marshmallows might cause some discomfort, but nothing more than that, right? Not quite. While internet challenges are just for a good laugh most of the time, they don’t always turn out as planned. Chances of dying are slim (but has unfortunately happened), but it can’t help to weigh the pros and cons of each challenge. And by that, I mean mostly cons because the pros list basically only has one word on it: funny.
1. The 10,000 Calorie Challenge
The title seems pretty self-explanatory, but basically you try to eat 10,000 calories total in one day. I don’t know who thought this would be fun, but it doesn’t take a genius to know it’s not healthy. Plus, no offense, but in college do you really need to be making a conscious effort to eat more? Probz not. That pretty much just happens naturally for a lot of us. This challenge really throws your metabolism out of whack; not to mention it basically mimics binge-eating, which is actually a serious eating disorder you don’t want to tempt.
2. Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge
In case you lived under a rock for the past year, everyone is obsessed with Kylie Jenner. But mostly they’re obsessed with her plump lips. While she uses a combination of artificial enhancement and A+ makeup, in a recent trend people tried to get the look by sucking a shot glass or water bottle until their lips swelled. Just looking at those photos you can tell that shit isn’t right, nor do they look like Kylie Jenner. The vacuum causes the blood vessels in your lips to swell and fill with blood. Bruising results when the blood vessels break. Some people’s reactions lasted for hours, or even days. Sounds fun, right? Kylie Jenner herself condemned the challenge, so this is perhaps the one time I’m going to say you should take Kylie’s advice.
3. The Cold Water Challenge
If you may recall, a couple of years ago people were jumping into lakes and ponds in the dead of winter, which is a royally dumb idea. It was meant to raise money for charity by nominating people to jump into cold water, who then have to either donate or jump in, then nominate other people. First of all, this isn’t the most effective way to raise money because it gives people an out. Secondly, someone died from this. There’s this thing called hypothermia. Spoiler alert: jumping into cold water in the arctic temps of winter can cause it. While the Ice Bucket Challenge is a tamer version of it, it’s better for all parties involved to donate the money and skip the risk.
4. Salt and Ice Challenge
For this viral hopeful, you pour salt on your body and then hold an ice cube on top of it so burning ensues. Salt lowers the temperature of ice to below freezing temperature, which is 32 degrees if you haven’t taken a science class since high school. This challenge can cause second, or even third-degree burns similar to frostbite, and has permanently scarred some its participants. Yikes.
The fratty challenge. There’s no denying that some frats’ hazing rituals have hurt, or even killed pledges, but NekNomination went beyond the secret walls of fraternity houses and became prevalent on social media. Essentially, someone drinks a large or bizarre drink in one sitting and then nominates someone else to outdo them. This is a quick way to cause alcohol poisoning and has been credited with the death of several people. Drinking games in themselves are risky business, but when you make it a competition, the results are never pretty.
Seven seconds of fame on Vine is not worth the pain or potentially permanent damage that comes from forcing your body parts to swell. If you want to gain attention, maybe try doing something that actually requires talent, not something that causes people to laugh at your suffering.