Evidently, incredibly stupid people have been taking what's called the "fire challenge." They douse themselves with a highly flammable liquid like rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover, set their torsos on fire, and then flail around in pain and terror before being doused with water. Kids these days!
Charlotte mom Janie Lachelle Talley allegedly helped her 16-year-old son make a fire challenge video a few weeks ago. He set himself on fire and suffered burns to his chest and neck. A concerned viewer saw the video and tipped off the Department of Social Services, who investigated and discovered that Talley had facilitated filming and posting the video.
It's one thing to be the cool mom who lets an older teen have a beer or two at home. It's another thing entirely to help a teen make a stupid YouTube video involving fire and screaming and burning flesh.
This isn't the first dangerous social media trend teens have tried lately. Doing stupid things online is a natural progression from doing stupid things in front of a crowd before the days of smartphones and instant social media gratification. (I'm sure we all have stories that involve us surviving the teen years despite making a few really bad choices.) But literally setting your torso on fire for Facebook likes? I'm worried about the future.
Not only is this really dumb — it's also unbelievably disrespectful to burn victims.
We can try to stalk our kids online, but safe teen behavior starts at home with healthy relationships and parents who model common sense. Not actively encouraging your teen to act like a moron is a good place to start.
What would you do if you caught your teen making a fire challenge video?
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