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OPINION: NekNominations are dangerous and immature

Know your limit. Photo by Abram Gutscher
Photo by Abram Gutscher

People realize that future employers check a candidate’s Facebook before hiring them, right?

This, among many other things, is something students at Dalhousie and around the world have simply forgotten when accepting a NekNomination. This “prestigious” award has been sweeping across social media outlets, primarily Facebook, encouraging students to binge drink in the light of day.

The basic premise of a NekNomination is to, when nominated, thank the individual who gave you the award, then proceed to chug a beer as fast as possible. This is usually followed by the chugger doing something idiotic (jumping in a snowbank half nude, drinking more alcohol, etc.). To complete the video, the drinker nominates two of their friends to create their own NekNomination video. The nominated individuals only have 24 hours to complete the task, or else it’s not a true NekNomination completion.

Are you shaking your head too?

It’s obvious how foolish the whole idea of this is. Nonetheless, it has grown popular among students across campus. This type of movement grows in popularity quickly through a combination of peer pressure and an exponential form of growth. NekNominations have even reportedly led to the death of two young men in Ireland.

The whole idea of this just reminds me of a big game of “truth or dare” taking place on social media, except no one ever chooses “truth,” and people know what their dare is going to be. I think what people need to realize is that once these videos are out on the internet, they are available for all to see. And once they’re seen, you can’t un-see them. The long and short of it is that this is a dangerous, immature and tasteless game that our community has become subject to.

And I’m not the only one to feel this way.

Students have stepped up on social media and expressed their negative feelings towards NekNominations, mainly by sharing an inspiring video created by South African Brent Lindeque. The video has been viewed over 300,000 times this week and the number is still climbing. It shows a man who was NekNominated giving a sandwich, a chocolate bar and a Coke to a homeless man, then nominating two friends to also complete a noble deed.

This approach, too, has quickly risen in popularity. Some outstanding individuals in our community have created videos of themselves implementing random acts of kindness, from giving Timbits to a librarian working the late shift to buying the person’s meal behind them at the drive-thru. This shift in mindset has created a sparkle of optimism and has allowed me to restore my faith in humanity.

So the next time you receive a NekNomination, what would you rather do? Shotgun another beer or make a complete stranger’s day? Think about it.

To see more of the great things people are doing in their community, check out the hashtag #NiceNomination.

Graeme Benjamin
Graeme Benjamin
Graeme is the Gazette's Sports Editor. He was the Assistant Sports Editor for Volume 145.

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