The Blue Whale Challenge has been headlining news in recent weeks because of the reports that a number of teens have committed suicide after following 50 tasks suggested by the game. This sinister internet game, named after a habit displayed by certain blue whales in which they beach themselves on purpose to commit suicide, emerged in 2013. A man was arrested in Russia for starting the challenge, and he has admitted to trying to use psychological manipulation to convince teen girls to kill themselves.
In the Blue Whale Challenge, the curators of the game seek out impressionable teens through social media before subjecting them to a 50-day challenge. At the end of the challenge, the person is ‘challenged’ to commit suicide. The person subjected to the challenge must complete each of the disturbing tasks that help the curator manipulate him/her into finally killing himself/herself. The growing popularity of the game speaks volume about how teenagers can be manipulated to engage in self-harm. Because of communication gap with parents, children using social media are more vulnerable to the games and apps that could be injurious to them. So, an active participation from every segment of the society is required to counter such threats.
The parents must stay vigilant and keep an eye on the activities of their kids and give sufficient time in order to save them from such threats. There is also a need for engaging students in extra-curricular activities to improve their mental and physical health.