The Selfie Olympics are in full swing, with competitors fighting to take the most thought- provoking, elaborate and creative selfie. Having captured the attention of thousands, the internet game encourages competitors to post their pictures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Twitter users began to use the hashtag #SelfieOlympics on January 2nd, while handles such as @SelfyGames and @SelfieOlympics were created to specialize in retweeting the “best” pictures taken by the digital Olympians.
However, teenagers, who make up the majority of the participants, have taken the Selfie Olympics slogan (“Faster, Higher, Stronger”) too far, taking pictures of themselves hanging from doors while stretching their bodies to the limit. The more dangerous pictures include a girl using a shirt to hang herself from a door and those which either capture participants doing a headstand in a sink or “magically” levitating in the air.
The social media trend has been deemed the most dangerous trend so far, since it also includes “planking,” the act in which a person lays horizontally across any object with their arms by their sides, while participating in a daring situation or displaying “core-strength.” Photos which display “vadering” – jumping in the air while somebody pretends to “force choke” another – are often submitted as well.
“I think that the Selfie Olympics, if taken too seriously, can be dangerous if people put themselves in the dangerous situations to take the “selfies. However, I don’t think that the trend itself is dangerous because one can be creative and do others things besides put themselves in dangerous situations,” said JoseFelipe Mixco, a sophomore at Miami Lakes Educational Center. “The amount of danger involved really depends on how seriously people take it and I don’t believe it’s being taken too seriously as of now.”
“Door selfies” are the most popular among the photos submitted, with multiple videos dedicated to explain how to take the picture. This puts the person at a risk of falling which could possibly result with severe injuries or even death.
News of two deaths resulting from the Selfie Olympics began to circulate the internet a couple of days after the game became popular; however, these deaths may be hoaxes since they have not been confirmed.
It is uncertain whether the popularity of the games will come and go just like that of planking back in 2011, but in a time where 50 selfies are uploaded every ten seconds, according to the Huffington Post, it seems unlikely that the trend will go away anytime soon.