September 24, 2020

BY AARON CRECESNeknomination1

You’ve been nominated. Are you ready to prove yourself? You need some booze of your choice and a stunt you can do; but most importantly, you need a video camera to immortalize yourself in all your reckless drunken abandon. You have 24 hours, don’t disappoint.

The Neknomination video trend is a bizarre game in which participants are challenged to film themselves drinking and pulling off some sort of ridiculous stunt in no less than 24 hours. To not rise to the challenge is considered shameful, like backing out of any competition. The fad is trending on Twitter at #NekNominate.

Originating in the U.K., the strange social media phenomenon made its way around the world from there and has become immensely popular in North America these last few weeks. Called Neknominations because of how fast participants drink, several people who completed their “NekNom” challenge died as a result, raising concerns about the safety of the game.

The confusing to bizarre videos from around the world capture young men and women in the heat of stunts like eating live goldfish, raw eggs, jumping into snowdrifts and getting dunked into toilets full of beer.

The challenge is immensely popular among college and university students all across the country. It’s a fairly common thing to see nomination videos featuring Conestoga students on Facebook, as well as Neknomination discussions on Facebook pages such as Spotted at Conestoga.

One user asked what Spotted at Conestoga had to say about the new social media game. The query raised various opinions, but it’s clear that many Conestoga students are concerned about the spreading fad.
Some comments were unsettling at best. Conestoga student John Paul Ellis wrote:
“People around the world are taking it too far and being killed doing them. I look at it as sort of like removing the warning labels from everything and watching natural selection take place. I’m OK with it.”

Others were in full support of the NekNom challenge, but conceded that it should be done with taste.

“Neknomination isn’t about killing yourself with alcohol. It’s just a challenge to one-up your friends,” wrote Conestoga student Nevin Fedy. “You don’t have to do something stupid that’s going to injure yourself or others, you just need to keep it within your own limits and make it fun and cool.”

Conestoga students aren’t the only ones chugging for the camera. Jacob Bissonette, a first-year electrician student at Niagara College, said he enjoyed completing the challenge but made the decision to keep his video simple.

In his clip, Bissonette introduces the friends who nominated him and thanks them in the span of a few seconds, downing a shot and following it with a glass of beer while seated at the Niagara College campus bar.

The 19-year-old said the game is most likely a passing fad, but knows that it can be dangerous if you forget to think about what you’re doing. In regards to the peer pressure associated with NekNom, Bissonette said he felt like it was a challenge that could have been ignored without consequence.

“Nothing made me feel like I had to do it,” he said. “I kept it simple to avoid the encouragement of truly dangerous alcohol consumption. I’m no stranger to the deaths over NekNoms.”

“I was inspired on multiple levels to pass on the fun, soon after realizing how silly the whole thing really is.”

After weeks of popularity and the shutdown of the official NekNom Facebook page the videos have begun to level off, becoming less and less frequent every day. It seems that this latest social media trend is drawing to a close – a quiet end to a massively explosive online drinking game.

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