Beware the lethal world of Neknominate: How my teenage son was sucked into the terrifying Facebook drink craze
- Game has been blamed for death of number of young people
- Involves posting video of player downing a drink on Facebook
- Then nominating friend to better it within 24 hours
PUBLISHED: 17:47 EST, 12 February 2014 | UPDATED: 06:47 EST, 14 February 2014+3
Parental concern: Brian Viner was shocked his son had been involved in the Neknominate craze
A few days ago, my 15‑year-old son Jake filmed himself mixing a cocktail in his own Wellington boot.
Those who saw his video on Facebook would have witnessed him adding cold baked beans, a raw egg and a third of a bottle of vodka, before mixing it together and knocking it back in one.
Welcome to the increasingly lethal world of Neknominate, which at the weekend claimed the lives of former grammar school boy Isaac Richardson, aged 20, and 29-year-old Stephen Brookes, from Cardiff. A week before it was linked to the death of two young men in Ireland.
The Neknominate craze has primarily spread on Facebook - where else? - like the deadliest of viruses.
The idea is that you film yourself drinking something horrible, then post the video online and nominate two friends to outdo you, giving them 24 or 48 hours to do so.
If anything, Neknominate acts as a further reminder that for all the advantages the internet has brought us, it also encourages intelligent people to do incredibly stupid and reckless things.
As a father of three, I find all this worrying in the extreme. Until last week I'd never heard of Neknominate, and certainly didn't know that my own son had partaken.More...
I was predictably horrified when I found out;. Jake had always seemed perfectly sensible about alcohol, and appeared to have taken to heart my warnings about teenagers drinking too much. So this seemed like a rare but spectacular transgression, terrifying proof of the dangers of social media.
I went to find him in his bedroom. 'Are you mad?' I exploded, having just seen the video. 'You could have killed yourself drinking something like that.'
His eyes filled with tears. 'I couldn't,' he said. 'It was just a joke. It wasn’t real.'