THE PRICE OF FAME
Don’t Worry, Your Teen Is Probably Not Snorting Condoms to Go Viral
Rest easy: The condom-snorting challenge is not even the most popular condom challenge on YouTube.
According to several media outlets, teens are snorting entire condoms up their noses a desperate attempt to go viral as part of what has been dubbed the "condom challenge."
In order to participate, a person must snort an unrolled condom up one nostril and pull it out from their mouth. The challenge poses a huge choking hazard and the videos are so disgusting it's hard to imagine they'd ever garner enough views to make such a stunt worth it.
"These days our teens are doing everything for likes, views and subscribers," Stephen Enriquez, a state education specialist in San Antonio, told Fox affiliate KABB. "As graphic as it is, we have to show parents because teens are going online looking for challenges and recreating them."
But while the latest round of parental freak-outs is new, the condom challenge itself is over a decade old. The first YouTube video featuring the prank was uploaded in 2007 and the vast majority of condom challenge videos were posted in 2013.
The condom snorting challenge isn't even the most popular condom challenge on YouTube or social media. If you search YouTube for the phrase "condom challenge" you'll see that a far more popular condom-related prank entails filling an entire vessel with water and dropping it over someone's head, thus encasing their head with the water-filled condom.
Several teens told The Daily Beast on Monday that the had never even heard of the challenge and that it sounded like something made up to troll parents. One teen said she would "rather die" than participate.
Enriquez's comments about the challenge appear to have kicked off a media firestorm, with the craze gaining attention in The Washington Post, Daily Mail, and Newsweek, however it's unlikely that the hype is warranted.
"I think I may have outgrown Facebook and the 40-year-olds on there," one Twitter user said. "They all think the condom challenge is a 'new dangerous trend.'"
"Does no one remember the condom challenge in like 2006-2008, this isn’t a new trend," another said.
In the era of Tide Pods and other dangerous fads, you can't blame parents for worrying about their kids doing dangerous stunts and there's no doubt that social media rewards outrageous behavior. But like most viral content on the internet, the condom challenge is just an old fad repackaged and sensationalized to troll the internet and prey on normies who don't know any better.