A NEW SOCIAL media craze that has reached Irish shores, in which people are encouraged to film themselves chugging back alcoholic drinks, promotes harmful binge drinking, according to Alcohol Action Ireland.
The drinking trend – known as “Neknomination” – involves the “neknominator” who, after posting a video of themselves online downing a pint, then “neknominates” one or two of his friends to follow suit. The rules dictate that they now have 24 hours to upload their video and nominate their choices, carrying on the trend.
In essence, it is a modern-day chain letter.
Due to so many Irish immigrants living in Australia, the trend appears to have reached these shores. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that while the craze “appears to be most popular among young Australians, it is also sweeping the globe as people nominate their international friends”.
Posting on Facebook
Alcohol Action Ireland said the new trend is a threat to the health and well-being of young people in Ireland, adding:
This type of irresponsible behaviour further promotes the type of harmful binge drinking which is such a threat to the health and well-being of young people in Ireland. It also reinforces the dangerous message that it is normal – and also fun and cool – to get drunk, a message that is at the root of so much of our harmful drinking.
The craze has sparked controversy in Australia where it is believed to have been started. Police are already investigating at least one so-called “Neknominate” stunt in which a young Australian allegedly was filmed breaking the law by riding in the boot of a vehicle in the pursuit of the ultimate drinking game video.
Alcohol Action says that “the reality is that while drinking fads like this come and go, there remains a consistent trend for drunkenness among young Irish people, a trend that sets them apart from the majority of their European counterparts and, unfortunately, the impact of this trend is already reflected by the fact that chronic alcohol-related conditions among young people have become increasingly common”.
They added that it “is no coincidence” that trends, like Neknomation, which are geared towards drunkenness has been accompanied by an explosion in the number of outlets selling alcohol at very cheap prices in recent years, with cans of beer often costing less than a bottle of water in supermarkets.