Are young people today more reckless… Or just plain stupid? 127



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Young people often think they’re bulletproof, and plenty of us made foolish mistakes in our youth. These latest incidences take the plate though! Young people are now setting themselves on fire for the internet’s attention, and playing dangerous pranks which have left older people hospitalised.

“The fire challenge” is a new social media crazy where young people deliberately set themselves alight and post the results online. An 11-year-old British boy recently partook in the fire challenge, and now needs skin grafts to repair severe burns on his back.

Thousands of videos online feature mostly teenagers – who pour baby oil, nail polish remover and other flammable liquids on themselves before lighting a flame. The “challenge” is getting to water quickly enough, before the flames do serious physical damage.

Meanwhile in Manchester, a 79-year-old grandmother has been left with broken arms after two teenage girls pulled a dangerous shopping centre prank. The pensioner went “flying” from atop a moving escalator, when the unidentified girls pressed the emergency stop button.

The pensioner also needed 15 stitches to her forehead, and suffered multiple cuts and bruises. Detectives have described the incident as a “prank gone wrong”, but are yet to identify the teenagers involved.

This is cold comfort for the pensioner’s daughter, who wrote on Facebook: “Please find some Christmas spirit and help me find the people that did this to my mum”. Indeed, the teenagers should have known better.

Will young people do anything for attention these days? Is the internet to blame for crazes like “the fire challenge”? Do you believe that enough respect is being instilled in today’s youth?





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  1. After watching that video, can say with some certainty, that have mental problems, I don’t know a single Aussie male who would torch his crutch

    1 REPLY
    • They’re out there David. They live among us. Makes a change from setting fire to other people’s property I suppose.

  2. Setting yourself on fire does suggest a certain lack of intelligence, you would have supposed it’s not hard to understand the consequences.

  3. I think it goes back to teaching kids and some adults, that for every action there is a consequence. Think about the later before you act. When my sons were young both were very badly injured when some idiot strung a wire across a bike trail beneath a bridge on a downhill stretch where most cyclists would be riding fast. Stupidly isn’t new, but methods of showing it like setting fire to yourself seems to be.

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