This social media frenzy is driving me crazy. Every day it seems there is a new “challenge” for young people to partake in. A few weeks ago it was the #KylieJennerChallenge, which resulted in plenty of #KylieJennerChallengeFails, and left kids in need of medical attention with damage to their faces.
Now of course, we have a new trend called the #CharlieCharlieChallenge. The game has teenagers balancing pencils in a cross formation over the words “yes” and “no” on a sheet of paper. Players ask questions which are then answered by a “Mexican demon named Charlie.” As pointed out by many, there is no demon in Mexican folklore named Charlie. The entire thing is fabricated, and yet our teenagers are taking part in this folly, calling out to a ghost to ask if he is “here” or if he can “play.”
While there is no immediate harm in playing this game, there is one large exception: The social media bloggers are claiming that if players are not careful, this demon ghost can enter your home and make your life miserable.
Now, I know that this all sounds silly, but we also have to remember who this game is targeting: vulnerable teenagers. What if this exercise is done by a vulnerable teen who is going through some emotional issues? What if this latest #CharlieCharlieChallenge leads an individual to make the wrong decisions based on an “answer” given to them by a fictional demon? It may even create a new environment for some that is riddled with fear and anxiety.
Allow us to recall the terrible tragedy of the “Slenderman case,” in Wisconsin, in which two girls devoted to a fictional character created on the Internet sought to impress him by stabbing their 12-year-old classmate 19 times in the woods. While I can’t say for sure what the game will or will not do for any one individual, certainly a game that has an alleged diabolic association cannot be good, especially for an emotional teen.
We live in a very dangerous world where people are easily influenced by a piece of the social media avalanche. Parents, stay alert and keep the #CharlieCharlieChallenge out of your home.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit AskDrManny.com for more.