Published on March 3, 2014 | by Taryn Nixon


Things we should all learn from Neknominate

Taryn Nixon

Taryn believes that Neknominate reflects the UK’s difficult relationship with alcohol [Taryn Nixon]

Neknominate is dangerous.

It sounds obvious, right? Wrong.

The problem appears to be the Neknominees’ lack of knowledge that drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short space of time can result in death.

According to NHS Online: “alcohol affects the nerves that control automatic actions, like breathing, your heartbeat, and your gag reflex.”

“Excessive alcohol consumption can slow or even shut down these functions, causing you to stop breathing and become unconscious and lead to death.”

Alcohol kills, but did you really think about that when you were knocking back those Jaegers and washing it down with that double vodka and coke? No.

Well it is something to think about. And so are the following points:

1) We are all peer pressured at some point in our lives:

The phrase ‘go on have another’ or ‘one for the road’ comes to mind while your friend sneakily tops up your wine glass without you noticing.

Peer pressure is not confined to the spaces of the classroom or the school playground – it’s prevalent in our daily and adult lives too.

However tempted, pressured or even bullied you might feel to ‘man up’ and drink your weight in alcohol, it doesn’t mean you have to.

2 ) Neknominate was around before the game had a name:

The craze extends far beyond social media – it has been lurking around many holiday destinations like Ayia Napa, the Greek island of Kos, Tenerife and Magaluf.

These destinations attract young British holidaymakers in need of some cheap fun in the sun.

In many bars, the temptation to drink to oblivion is just too easy, with holiday reps selling ten euro wristbands that allow you to drink as much as you want within the hour, seeing many Brits in a sorry state at the end of the night.

Neknominate isn’t something new, it has just evolved into an online game.

 3) We need to get drunk to have fun, and that’s a problem:

Britain has a binge drinking problem and it’s getting progressively worse.

The NHS spends around £3.5 billion a year on alcohol-related abuse.

From long-term related illnesses to A&E admissions, it shows our unhealthy relationship to alcohol and the worrying trend that woman are now drinking more and putting their health at risks too.

Our values towards alcohol need readdressing.

 4) Online trends always peak and trough:

From planking to ‘batmanning’ to selfies at funerals, that familiar saying ‘nothing lasts forever’ rings true.

Where is MySpace or Bebo these days? Social media picks up and drops fads faster than you can hear ‘you’ve got 24 hours.’

5) Social media won’t ban online trends:

Bury the hatchet now before you get yourself more disappointed. Facebook did not shut down the ‘I hate Jesus’ page and its not going to stop Neknominate either.

They’ve already said they’re not planning to ban the game because it is not “necessarily against our rules.”

Think of it this way: if Facebook or Twitter started to ban trends and shut down pages, what else could they ban?

Would it be ok to shut down the ‘I hate Jesus’ page but not the ‘I hate Justin Bieber’ one? What else could they restrict us from reading or learning about?

6) In every bad situation lies a glimmer of hope: 

This comes in the form of a RAK (random acts of kindness) Nominations.

The Facebook page was set up on February 3 and has so far attracted almost 25,000 fans.

Instead of ‘necking’ back pints of vodka mixed with cider, you can upload a video of yourself performing a random act of kindness and nominate a friend to do the same.

From individuals buying a cup of coffee for a homeless person, to giving an elderly lady a bunch of flowers, so much good has been done in the name of this new game.

And companies are taking advantage of this new type of product placement, like Papa John’s who put waterproof seat covers on a bunch of bicycles in Oxford.

However, even if Neknominate inspired RAK Nominations, this doesn’t take away from the fact that the drinking game has had some severely tragic and devastating consequences for those who have lost loved ones.

But banning Neknominations from Facebook would be a short-lived answer to a long-term issue.

It is the relationship that we have with alcohol in the UK that needs addressing, rather than simply shutting down a few pages and videos.

Lets take this opportunity to turn something tragic into something positive.


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