I’m sure the vast majority of people who read this article have seen or at least aware of the global phenomenon of Neck and Nominate or Neknominate as it is better known. It is thought to have originated in Australia in 2013 with ties to the YouTube hit video “Nek Minute”. The concept of this social media “chain letter” is to down an alcoholic beverage, preferably a pint and command two others to then perform their Neknomination within 24 hours. However, this in some cases has got out of hand with accounts of urine, soap and tabasco consumption.
I am not writing this blog to sit and preach about the latest internet craze but simply to discuss whether it is a case of, good old fashioned fun or just a social time bomb allowing people to publicly humiliate themselves.
On one hand, to be seen as the ultimate LAD and king/queen of banter is the ultimate social achievement. Most people at some point have downed a pint and thought nothing of it, often posing in videos doing it. “Chug chug chug” as the golden nectar flowed down the throat is an occurrence I am very familiar with (when i was younger and cooler anyway). It’s all a good laugh and often an initiation common to young culture, but where do you draw the line?
On the other hand and lets be honest now, it is dangerous. Only this week was the terrible news of Jonny Byrne from Northern Ireland who died aged 19. Byrne’s brother commented saying that he was being egged on and bullied into completing his nomination and the nature of the “game” meant that people were indeed trying to out do each other; this time ending in disaster, when Jonny ended up in a river unable to keep afloat. A terrible tragedy which has led to Neknomination pages in NI being turned into an alcohol awareness page.
There has always been a “drink responsibly” tag connected to alcohol but with England’s already tarred reputation, is this a game we as a nation need to be playing? In South Africa, a man has tried to use the power of social media and the Neknominate process for the greater good. He used his 2 minutes of glory to provide a homeless man with food and drink in an attempt to turn this trend into something positive in a truly heart warming video.
Finally, the overwhelming fact that we are in the digital era is unavoidable and the fact that competition for jobs is at its most rife means that employers are being markedly more rigorous and thorough when appointing new workers. With over 70% of companies admitting to using Facebook as a way to research a potential employee, is a drunken video of you dressed as batman or wonder-woman downing a pint really the image you want to portray. I fully agree and appreciate the need to express a persons fun nature and show some personality but how certain are you that your privacy settings are at their highest? In fact why not just create a more professional online profile on Kloodle where by an investor can see the other side of you, the hard working, diligent, determined individual you are and leave a PRIVATE Facebook account for your friends to share the good times.