5 Dangerous Teen Trends of Modern Society
Parents are aware of many dangerous and risky behaviors which teens might engage in. The teenage years are times when boundaries are tested and cheap thrills are sought after as children grow to be as capable as adults but without the responsibilities. Parents know to be on the lookout for risky activities, and most dangerous things are age restricted at the point of purchase. However, teens will always find adventurous ways to beat boredom and many of the dangerous things they do can go unnoticed by the parents. Below are dangerous teen trends which teens engage in for entertainment.
The Choke Out or Punch Out Game
These games definitely push boundaries, and they are played just as they sound. Teenagers are able to get a quick thrill by having their peers choke or punch them into unconsciousness. Teens do this for attention, to prove their strength or just for an adrenaline rush. Usually, the victim will wake up feeling light-headed for a while, which is one of the reasons teens allow others to do this to them. Some do it out of peer pressure, and some are physically forced to play against their will. In the case of the punch out game, teens will spontaneously punch an unwitting stranger in the face and walk away, leaving their victim damaged physically and psychologically. There have been numerous cases of long-term brain damage and even death from these games. Teens lack the foresight to fully understand the consequences of their actions and losers of these games don’t get second chances.
Sexting and Cyberbullying
Teens see text messages as a great way to have lots of conversations with many people at the same time. Text messages seem private in nature, and parents can’t tell what a conversation is about just by looking at a teen texting.Â Teens will send sexually explicit messages, pictures or videos to their peers to cause arousal. While it may seem to be a safer alternative to the real thing, teenage sexting is actually dangerous and many teens have faced criminal charges because of it. Sext messages can last forever when shared with the wrong people. Teens also use text to belittle, harass or extort money or favors from others. A victim of cyberbullying can have hundreds of people bombarding them with harassment in many different ways.
Drinking Hand Sanitizer or Cough Syrup
Since it can be difficult for children who want to get a buzz to get their hands on alcoholic beverages, they will often turn to other ways to catch a buzz with things that are easier for them to purchase. Ingesting an entire bottle of cough syrup will cause hallucinations, and teens have recipes for purple drank to make the syrup easier to swallow in soda, often dissolving hard candy in the mix. Teens have also learned how to extract the alcohol from hand sanitizer by using salt. The alcohol content in hand sanitizer is well over 60% and kids can get drunk quickly with fairly small amounts. The gel and cleaning solvents in hand sanitizer can cause ulcers throughout the entire digestive system and if not separated out properly, these solvents can be more poisonous than the alcohol itself. Teens can fatally overdose with both of these drinking hazards.
Bath Salts and Incense
Technically, children should not be able to get their hands on these items, but they use them as a way to get high legally. These drugs are labeled as bath salts and incense, and since they do not contain legally controlled substances, they are not considered illegal. Bath salts are designer drugs in a powder form. Incense is usually a plant laced with designer drugs. The effects of these drugs are similar to what one would expect from the drugs they are designed to imitate, but since they do not contain the same drug, they are hard to detect in drug screenings and even more difficult to identify as controlled substances. Once one form of the drug is outlawed, designers quickly change the formula to another recipe that is not outlawed. These drugs have been known to be more harmful than already identified drugs, and the long-term effects are widely unknown.
Teens with smartphones not only have portable telephones, but they also carry a video camera capable of broadcasting and catapulting themselves to fame through sites like Vine or YouTube. It becomes dangerous when teens try to top each other’s antics in dangerous dares. Teens will tempt fate by setting themselves on fire, riding on cars or eating dangerous chemicals or objects. In some video battles, teens will record themselves intentionally doing bodily harm to themselves in attempts to out-do the latest video by showing how much pain they can handle. Video challenges are the causes for many emergency room visits and damage to property. Engaging in reckless behavior for attention is never a good idea.
Smartphone technology has made it easier for teens to share with others both privately and publicly. An iPhone or Android combines a cell phone with a video camera and a laptop and gives teenagers a constant connection to the Internet. The smartphone is useful in many ways but it can be dangerous if used for the wrong reasons or at the wrong time. Pictures, videos and words shared with others can have long-term effects. Monitoring software with parental controls will help parents know what their teens are up to and will also give parents the ability to block websites, contacts or apps which are known to cause trouble with their teens. Parents can keep their teens safe by knowing what to look for and providing positive outlets for their teenagers’ creativity and entertainment.