I’m Paula Santolaya, reporting live from SANTOLIVE in my virtual reality. Have comments, questions, or suggestions? Post them in the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the summer of 2014, a solidarity campaign named ‘Ice Cube Challenge’ was popularized, a game that consisted of throwing a bucket of ice water on oneself or other person with the purpose of raising funds for people suffering from lateral amyotrophic sclerosis (ALS).
But this innocent challenge has mutated into a more dangerous one that has become viral on the Internet. This is the ‘Hot Water Challenge’ which induces the youngest to throw boiling water over their skin producing terrible burns or even death.
This macabre game has become very popular in the United States and has already left several victims, including an eleven-year-old girl from New York who ended up in a hospital after her friends poured boiled water into her body while she slept, causing third-degree burns on the 90% of her face. In addition, another eight-year-old girl from Florida died after her trachea had been burned by drinking boiled water after her cousin tried it earlier, according to Time Magazine.
But why do kids and teens seek fame on social media through physical hurt and pain? It seems that they wish to get attention from their inner circle. The experts indicate that they have the same sociological profile: a clear paternal inattention, absolute freedom to use the Internet without supervision and low self-esteem due to bullying. Their goal is to feel part of a group that values them for their bravery and to get many «likes» on social media.
These are the new dangers of the Internet and we have the social responsibility of getting the new digital generations to acquire the necessary training in order to not jeopardize their lives for fifteen seconds of fame.