The new generation seems emboldened to the extent of addiction to clearly harmful phenomena.
The government’s plea to Internet giants like Google, Facebook and Yahoo to take down links to challenge-based suicide game “Blue Whale” is reasonable. The Web giants must oblige not just in the “Blue Whale” case but also copycat social media posts like “human embroidery” emanating from China that are linked to the worrying trend of self-harm perpetrated by crazy elements who are obviously maladjusted youth. Philipp Budeikin, the man who claimed to be behind “Blue Whale”, was arrested by the Russian authorities, who also enacted anti-suicide laws to tackle this phenomenon. The game was linked to at least three suicides of young Indians barely into their teens, influenced by an inexplicable trend of believing everything on the Web belongs to the real world and its challenges.
Not even a challenge seeking self-mutilation seems to scare children off. Earlier, recounting of horror stories would be enough to spook children. The new generation seems emboldened to the extent of addiction to clearly harmful phenomena. While some nations plan counter-measures to push “positive challenges” like “Pink Whale”, it is evident that very young people’s mobiles, computers and other devices use must be restricted by parental guidance. Nowadays, even tweens have unsupervised access to the Internet as well as to mobile phones. It becomes the duty of parents to take their kids into confidence and to sensitise them to hazards. While Web companies can only do so much to keep dark sites in check, access to questionable parts of the social media can only be restricted by parental, family and peer help.