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The ‘Blue Whale’ trap

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14 years old Mumbai Boy Falls Prey To ‘Blue Whale Challenge‘, Kills Self By Jumping Off A Building

Blue Whale Challenge claims first victim in Tamil Nadu: 18-year-old Madurai student commits suicide

These news headlines have startled the nation for the last one month. The reports state that the suicide is linked to a certain Blue Whale Challenge, a suicide game in which the player is given certain tasks to complete for a period of 50 days and the final task leads the player to commit suicide. The player is also asked to share photos after finishing each challenge. The various tasks include carving of a specific phrase or a whale on the person’s own hand or arm, cutting your own lips, watching scary videos in night, not talking to anyone a whole day. And the final 50th step leads to a suicide.

As bizarre it may sound these teens are completing these tasks to reach the 50th task and then the parents are getting alarmed. Recently warning messages have being given on various platform how to prevent such deaths, how to detect it. Petitions are being submitted to ban the game. But as a commoner I have a simple question.

How come the parents are not getting aware of anything unnatural as their kids are cutting themselves, hurting themselves or not talking to anyone an entire day?

These teens are from well to do families who owns a smartphone and is misusing it. For 50 whole days the parents are not noticing the change in behaviour. I remember particularly my teen days. Whenever I or my sister did anything wrong, even before telling, God knows how but my mother would already know something is wrong and she would eventually coax the words out of us.

With the courts sentencing to ban the game, everyone discussing all the ill effect of social medias on these distracted teens we are ignoring a very basic cause. The relationship of the parents with their kids. In a country like India where a certain Miss World can proudly proclaim on world television, ” It is fine to live with your parents, because It’s also common in India, we don’t have to take appointments from the parents to meet for dinner,” the relationship with parents have always been a closed one. With families gradually turning nuclear, turning away from the closely knit groups of uncle aunts and cousins, the equation with parents need to be improved at earliest.

A smart gadget can never replace the warmth of a loved one. The parents need to be more aware of the daily activities of the turbulent teenagers. When there will be understanding, love and care in families; games like this can never pounce on the hapless teenagers.

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