PACHU MENON, MARGAO
Over the last one year or so, the social media has been coming in for some scathing attacks for contents warped to give subjects that lie in the realms of improbability. The appalling reports of mob violence and lynchings that have been rocking the nation are but natural consequences of a sustained campaign to disseminate misinformation and mislead the public. Well so much for the propaganda and half-truths that feature as essential aspects of the social media! Notwithstanding the innumerable likes, comments and shares that have virtually turned into the online jargon which set apart the new generation for its modernity, the recent viral fad sweeping social media has escalated into a worrying trend. Drawing parallels to the ‘Blue Whale’ challenge that terrorized the world, a disturbing new game sweeping WhatsApp has parents and authorities concerned over the rise of another equally terrifying social networking phenomenon. As a similar style suicide-game, the ‘Momo’ challenge threatens to revive shocking memories of ghastly deaths that swept the globe in the wake of the killer-game last year. The social media, in fact, has been prominently used as a global platform by cine stars and celebrity singers to promote their films and albums. The antics of Instagram comedian ‘Shiggy’ over Canadian singer Drake’s song ‘In My Feelings’ from his album ‘Scorpion’, is the new social media sensation with people tagging each other to take the ‘Kiki challenge’. The challenge which has now gone international dares one to move out of a slow moving vehicle and dance to the song when the car is still in motion, and then get back into the automobile to complete it. All the while someone from within the vehicle should film the whole sequence. Given the dangerous repercussions, with many of those ‘accepting’ the challenge meeting with serious accidents – not to speak of the perilous conditions the bystanders are exposed to – youngsters have been exhorted to kick against ‘Kiki.’ The risks involved in taking the dance challenge on the road are manifold. Yet, the latest internet obsession continues to consume more and more youth.