Grisly game

Alive - - Online Trauma -

From Mumbai to Ker­ala and sev­eral other parts of the coun­try, teenagers are un­der threat from a new online game, namely the Blue Whale. A teenager’s sui­cide in Ker­ala raised sus­pi­cion that he was pushed to take the ex­treme step af­ter he started “play­ing” this dan­ger­ous game which in­volves a series of self-harm ac­tions ul­ti­mately lead­ing to sui­cide.

Even as alarm con­tin­ues to spread across In­dia over the fright­en­ing Blue Whale Chal­lenge, what can par­ents do to en­sure that their chil­dren don’t fall prey to this sick phe­nom­e­non?

Watch your child’s so­cial media ac­tiv­ity: If they post any­thing with the hash­tags “#Cu­ra­torFindMe”, “#F57”, “#BlueWhale”, “#wake­me­u­pat420” or any­thing else that sounds sus­pi­cious, be alert be­cause your teen could be in­volved in the dan­ger­ous ac­tiv­ity.

If your teen is al­ready suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety or any other form of emo­tional tur­moil, they are fac­ing a risk of fall­ing in the trap of the sadis­tic network. Check for signs of self-harm (like cuts and bruises) and sud­den be­havioural changes in your child. If your child is un­usu­ally se­cre­tive or spend too much time online, these could be signs of trou­ble.

Watch out for your teen’s sleep­ing pat­terns. Blue Whale chal­lenge in­cludes “tasks” that are sup­posed to be per­formed at odd hours.

If you sus­pect that your teen may be “play­ing” Blue Whale, pre­pare your­self and ap­proach them sen­si­tively. Yelling at them or cut­ting off their so­cial time may not work.

When a lot of teens are fall­ing prey to Blue Whale, it would help to talk to them about how they feel and to val­i­date their feel­ings.

Pro­vide men­tal health as­sis­tance to your teen if re­quired. Do not ig­nore it as “at­ten­tion seek­ing” or “mis­chievous” con­duct. Do not stig­ma­tise men­tal health is­sues.

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