Navigating through the wild, ever-changing world of TikTok with our kiddos can sometimes feel like we’re trekking through a jungle, right? 🌲🐾 Today, let’s chat about some of the trends that might have slipped into your child’s TikTok feed and how we can guide them safely through.
Teenagers and challenges, they kinda go hand in hand, don’t they? But there’s this one challenge zooming through social media that’s more than just a harmless dare. First up, the “Benadryl Challenge”. This trend encourages participants to take excessive amounts of the allergy medication Benadryl to experience a high that could bring about hallucinations. It’s not only dangerous but has also been fatal. A 15-year-old girl in Oklahoma lost her life due to an overdose from participating in this challenge. The challenge generally calls for users to take at least a dozen pills, which is way beyond the recommended dose and can cause severe health issues, such as heart problems and seizures.
Dr. Cunningham, who heads the Pediatric Emergency Department at JFK University Medical Center, shares that Benadryl, or its science-y name, diphenhydramine, is usually our go-to for sneezes and sniffles. But the amount kids are taking to “trip” is scarily close to the amount that could be super dangerous.
🚨 What’s the deal when you OD on Benadryl?
If you, or someone you know, has taken a bit too much Benadryl (or mixed it with other meds to boost its power), it’s crucial to dial 911 and get medical help, pronto!
❓ Can the Benadryl Challenge be fatal? A big YES! There have been instances where kids have landed in the hospital and, tragically, some have even passed away due to overdosing, as per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They’ve put out a stern public warning about it.
The FDA warns, “Taking higher than recommended doses of...diphenhydramine (Benadryl) can lead to serious heart problems, seizures, coma, or even death.” Dr. Cunningham adds, “Even healthy young adults can face these severe, life-threatening conditions if they intentionally overdose. This challenge is dangerous – no two ways about it.”
Next, the “Silhouette Challenge”. It might seem like a fun, empowering trend at first, but it has a dark side. Some internet users have found ways to remove the red filter used in these videos, exposing people’s bodies without their consent. It's crucial to be aware and cautious about sharing content online, even when it seems safe. It started off as this fab, body-positive trend, cheering on women to celebrate and showcase their bodies and their sensual sides in a super cool way. People of all shapes and sizes were strutting their stuff and receiving a whole lot of virtual love, support, and thumbs-ups across the social media world. But, just as quickly as it soared in popularity, it hit a snag when some people began sharing tutorials on how to remove that signature red filter, revealing people’s bodies without their consent. 🚫
While the #BussItChallenge had women transforming and glamming up in their best outfits, this trend peels back the layers, focusing just on shapes and silhouettes. To join in, participants film two separate clips of themselves, then blend them together using TikTok audio. It kicks off with them, chill and comfy in regular lighting, maybe rocking robes or PJs, grooving to Anka’s “Put your hand on my shoulder.”
And then, the beat switches to “Streets”, and the camera immerses everything in red. The lighting perfectly highlights every curve as participants strike their poses in a doorway, using an outside light to cast that shadowy effect. Some chose to go full nude, baring it all, while others stuck to undies or bikinis.
And then there’s “Lala Bop”. This trend is shaming young individuals, especially girls, implying they’ve been promiscuous. It’s a modern-day method to “slut shame” and it's causing emotional and mental distress among teens.
If “lala bop” is a new term for you (it was for me too), you’re not alone. “A ‘lala bop’ is someone who TikTok users claim has been, well, around the block so to speak. Except, this new-age way to shame individuals claims to offer digital proof.
So, What's a 'Lala Bop'?
It all started in late 2022 when a TikTok user dropped a song called ‘Lala Bop.’ This tune has now started being used in call-out videos that shame people for allegedly dating around or being promiscuous.
The post often includes a picture of the person a TikTok user is shaming and claims that this person gets around and/or that they engaged in other sexual acts with a specific number of people.
Most of the time, it’s the girls who are targeted with this unkind term impling that they have a high ‘body count, which is slang for how many people someone has been with. "‘Lala bops’ may not even be true and could just be nasty rumors circulating.
These videos are straight-up cyberbullying and it’s something we need to take seriously. This trend seems to be another way to bully, shame, or exclude someone, which can have a negative impact on that person’s social and mental well-being.
A quick TikTok search of the term shows examples like a young person looking super sad after being posted to a “lala bop” page. Some young folks are fighting back against being labeled with this term, posting their own videos that call out their accusers. Not everyone will have the confidence or courage to make a counter video and for those teens, this is where support from friends, family, and other positive people are needed. There already seems to be some backlash about this trend, calling it cruel and saying it needs to stop.
Another day, another meme taking over social media.
One of the most recent internet trends involves users usurping the covers from the late 20th century children’s classic series Little Miss and Mr. Men to call out their unique (or not so unique) personality traits and insecurities in a mega-viral trend spanning, Instagram, TikTok, and even Twitter.
The recent trend consists of editing and recaptioning the covers of the Mr. Men and Little Miss books, which featured characters like Little Miss Naughty and Mr. Happy, to create more specific and hyper-personalized characterizations for the recognizable figures.
The meme has also trickled onto TikTok, where users are posting the illustrations to call out past boyfriends, shed some light on their professions, and roast their friends. Some fake accounts have been created to post little miss memes about other people as well. Using it as a way to call out insecurities and bully.
Start by reporting the bullying content to the social platform. Make sure your child knows how to do this as it can be very empowering.
Also, ensure to support your teen who may be going through this. Let them know you love them unconditionally, this storm will pass, and talk through the other options you have available to you, including anonymously reporting the behavior to school authorities.
The most crucial thing we can do in a situation where a social media trend is threatening a teen’s well-being is to turn it into a teachable moment. Remind teens that just because someone says something, doesn't make it true. Discuss the lasting implications of hurtful words, gossip, videos, or memes posted on social media. Encourage they take a break if it becomes too overwhelming.
When it comes to the internet, parents should explain that everything teens see or hear may not be real, but that the consequences of trends like these can be very real and permanent.
In the spirit of everything being a teachable moment, discuss the rise of this derogatory term. Not only is it an opportunity to talk about sex and social media use, but it is also an opportunity to explore their friend dynamics and mental health. Take some time and ask how they feel about the trend or simply how they’re feeling in general.
🧭 Guiding Our Kiddos Through the TikTok Jungle
🛠️ Equipping Our Teens
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