Why online challenges are harmful
Is your social media timeline flooded with people doing crazy challenges and posting pictures and videos related to them on their social media profiles? Are you also preparing to take up one of these challenges? Experts believe that accepting such social media challenges could be a sign of psychological weakness and loneliness.
Experts also caution that some of these challenges such as the FaceApp challenge could be used as a tool to compromise, collect and harvest mass individual data as a commodity.
One challenge trending on top of the chart is #BottleCapChallenge which has seen celebrities such as Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar opening a bottle cap in their own unique styles. Typically in order to pass the challenge, one has to round kick the cap while making sure that the bottle doesn't fall off. The act then has to be filmed in slow motion an uploaded on a social media profile.
Another challenge breaking the internet is FaceApp challenge, where an artificial intelligence-based application depicts the appearance of your old self.
Pictures of Bollywood celebrities like Deepika Padukone, Shah Rukh Khan and cricket stars such as MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli are trending on social media as a part of this challenge.
Dr Manish Jain, a psychiatrist with Delhi's BLK Hospital points out that "people who care too much about what others think about them and only do things to get an appreciation from their peers are most likely to take up such challenges".
According to Dr Jain "it shows a relatively weak psychology" which makes people take up these challenges. Behavior psychologist Dr Kapil Kakar said that this trend indicates that there is a feeling among people "to prove one's selfworth time and again which is often not required".
According to Dr Kakar, among all age groups, youngsters and teenagers are most likely to fall for these trends.
Image Guru Dilip Cherian calls such campaigns a form of "stealth marketing" where a user is not aware if he or she is being marketed to. Cherian says that the millennials who are usually the target of these campaigns are used to gamification.