Neknominations are flawed

While it’s true that the Neknomination trend encourages binge drinking and other dangerous behaviour to a small degree, more importantly, it raises other questions about the priorities of those who participate.

Neknomination participants post a video of an alcohol-related stunt to social media and then nominate people to repeat the process within 24 hours. The trend originated in Australia and has quickly spread across Europe and North America.

While some Neknomination videos are extreme and feature incredible feats of binge drinking, young people were already doing lots of that anyways. Those who see these acts as harmless fun fueling camaraderie amongst friends are right, to a point. Like with any widespread phenomena, however, deeper analysis is necessary.

Neknominations could be seen as an extension of a hyper-masculine “bro culture” which prizes extreme behaviours that are ultimately pointless. The game is certainly exclusionary to a certain degree as not everyone drinks and many of those who do don’t binge drink at the drop of a hat.

Those who have asserted that Neknominations ramp up “peer pressure” to drink are correct. Rather than simply being egged on at a social gathering, those who receive Neknominations have the attention of thousands of social media users.

Still more questions are raised by the fact that Neknominations take place on social media. Are people really doing it out of exuberance or are they motivated by likes, views and shares?

A final consideration for those undertaking Neknominations: think long and hard about the consequences of posting a hard-drinking video to the internet. Our digital footprints are eternal. You don’t have control over the things you post to Facebook and they could easily come back to haunt you in some way.

Neknominations seem fairly benign on the surface, but once their underlying motivations and problems are examined, the practice seems less appealing.

— Journal Editorial Board

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