Some so­cial me­dia chal­lenges court disas­ter

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - PEOPLE - TANYA PETERSEN

SINCE the dawn of so­cial me­dia, vi­ral videos, trends and chal­lenges have be­come pop­u­lar among users, some­times to the detri­ment of their safety.

The lat­est challenge to hit the world is the #Kik­iChal­lenge, also known as the #InMyFeel­ingsChal­lenge and the #DoTheShiggy.

It started in June when Shiggy, an Amer­i­can co­me­dian who danced to In My Feel­ings by Amer­i­can singer Drake and hash-tagged it #DoTheShiggy.

The challenge al­most im­me­di­ately gained pop­u­lar­ity.

Will Smith recorded him­self do­ing the challenge on top of a bridge in Bu­dapest. It evolved to peo­ple jump­ing out of mov­ing cars to com­plete the challenge, some­times in­jur­ing them­selves, all in the hope of ob­tain­ing likes, retweets and fol­lows.

Youtube is over­flow­ing with #Kik­iChal­lenge­fails show­ing peo­ple fall­ing out of cars, bash­ing into street poles and be­ing knocked over by cars.

In July, while on hon­ey­moon in Cape Town, Amer­i­can singer Ciara and her hus­band Rus­sell Wil­son took on the challenge in a safe way, do­ing it on a grass patch with an ocean back­drop.

A few lo­cal celebri­ties and so­cial me­dia in­flu­encers as well as or­di­nary peo­ple have taken on the challenge in Cape Town.

Ex­presso pre­sen­ter Katlego Maboe, who has close to one 100 000 fol­low­ers on In­sta­gram, was among them. But in­stead of jump­ing out of a mov­ing ve­hi­cle, Maboe and two col­leagues jammed it out to the song in the stu­dio.

Maboe said peo­ple get in­volved in so­cial me­dia chal­lenges be­cause they have a “deep de­sire to feel con­nected to others”.

“Some­times it’s just for fun and to un­wind, other times we want to send a pow­er­ful mes­sage – all rooted in our need to feel con­nected. It’s the ba­sis on which so­cial me­dia is built.”

How­ever, his sense of so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity stretches across the board to ev­ery­one on so­cial me­dia.

“So­cial me­dia can do so much, but it can do an equal amount of harm if not used re­spon­si­bly. I take that very se­ri­ously.

“So­cial me­dia is a fun way to feel like you are truly part of this great big world so why not use it to cre­ate the world you want to live in by spread­ing that mes­sage?”

Se­brena El­liot, who has 760 In­sta­gram fol­low­ers, tried the challenge be­cause she was in­trigued by the hype.

But she was not will­ing to jump out of a mov­ing car, so she chose a place where she would not en­dan­ger her­self.

War­ren Bright, the owner of SCOPE Dig­i­tal Agency in Tokai, said so­cial me­dia has cat­a­pulted into pop­u­lar­ity over the past few years and is “play­ing an in­flu­en­tial role in all our lives”.

“Celebri­ties and well fol­lowed in­di­vid­u­als are not the only ones who have re­spon­si­bil­ity on their hands.

“We all have some form of so­cial me­dia in­flu­ence. Whether you have 250 fol­low­ers on In­sta­gram or 1000 on Twit­ter, peo­ple are lis­ten­ing to what you say.

“Peo­ple don’t con­sider them­selves as ‘in­flu­encers’ be­cause they do not have one mil­lion fol­low­ers and this can lead to not think­ing about what they post on­line.

“We all talk about the re­spon­si­bil­ity these in­di­vid­u­als with big fol­low­ings have, but we of­ten for­get that we have just as much re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“You may not know it, but if you have posted on so­cial me­dia, you have most prob­a­bly had an im­pact on some­one’s life.

“It’s im­por­tant that peo­ple are made aware of this as you need to be the change you wish to see.”

Re­gard­ing the chal­lenges on so­cial me­dia, he cited The Har­lem Shake, which was pop­u­lar five years ago.

“Al­though there are fun chal­lenges, there are some that can se­ri­ously harm you. These can be most harm­ful to younger in­di­vid­u­als who are eas­ily in­flu­enced. If it may be dan­ger­ous, give it a miss.”

PIC­TURE: AP

R&B star Ciara and her hus­band, NFL quar­ter­back Rus­sell Wil­son, suc­cess­fully took on the #Kik­iChal­lenge while on hon­ey­moon in Cape Town.

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