Risky Business

Watching people burn their skin ‒ millions of views. People choking ‒ millions of views. People eating chemicals ‒ millions of views.
Individuals in front of a camera puts themselves through pain while on the other side of the screen, we laugh. Have we made it normal to laugh at other people’s pain?
Have we lost our empathy for others just because we don’t know them? Have we accepted the fact that we’ll do anything for views? Even if that means setting yourself on fire, risking your life for a stupid challenge?

YouTube began in 2005 to give an outlet to people to connect across the world for various purposes. However, soon enough YouTube began to take a slight turn.
In 2012, challenges like the salt and ice and the cinnamon challenges, as I’m sure you remember, began to become popular. These challenges seemed harmless.
How could someone hurt themselves just by trying to swallow cinnamon? In reality, cinnamon can potentially… kill. It can cause choking, collapsed lungs, or even pneumonia.
The salt and ice challenge causes frostbite and can potentially lead to second and third degree burns. More dangerous challenges are the pepper eating, car surfing, and the most recent bird box challenge. In this challenge, people blindfold themselves while doing regular activities.
A teenager from Salt Lake City, Utah, participated in this challenge by blindfolding herself while driving. As you can imagine, this caused a lot of chaos on the road. The teen caused a major car crash and is now facing charges.

So who is really at fault here? The people who are willingly doing foolish stuff that puts their life at risk for views or the people who laugh and encourage them to keep on doing these activities?
YouTubers can be very influential with the decisions viewers make and sometimes it seems like they don’t realize that.
They disregard what effect they can have or sometimes if they know it, it gets to their head and they crave more views and likes. They’ll do whatever it takes.
A prime example of this is 23 year old YouTuber Logan Paul. Paul started his “career” by uploading silly videos to Vine. Soon enough he started gaining a bigger platform and moved to YouTube. As his views grew so did his insanity.

The YouTube star hurt his own friends, did extreme stunts, and degraded people just for laughs.
He didn’t stop there, though.

Paul visited the suicide forest in Japan where he filmed a dead body and proceeded to joke about the matter. This is unbelievably disrespectful and, of course, after this people thought he had crossed the line. But why did we let it get to that point?

If people would’ve never encouraged Paul to keep on acting foolishly, maybe he would have never caused such disruption. People yearn for the attention, no matter the cost.
People are sick to laugh at behavior like this. People are stupid to take part in challenges that put your life at risk. Yes, a good laugh is good, but there is a limit when your life’s on the line.