I'm sure if you have been on the internet, or watched the news in the last week you have heard of the Tide Pod challenge. If somehow you haven't, let me break it down for you. It's a new viral video challenge where kids (mostly teens, or there abouts) eat, or least chew a Tide laundry detergent pod. I have heard a lot of people talking about how kids have gotten so stupid anymore. That kids would have never attempted that sort of thing when they were younger.
Let me tell you a story.
This takes place in the before time. Before Internet. BI There aren't any pictures of it, but it happened.
When I was around middle school age there was a group of girls in the grade above me that decided to try a kind of challenge of their own. I didn't sit at their table, so I wasn't privy to their plan, or specifics. All I know is one day one of them proposed that they sniff laundry detergent. They all agreed, and one of them offered to bring the powdered substance to school the next. A plan was born. The next day at lunch the detergent was brought out of one of their lunchboxes, and distributed among the girls participating. I am not sure if they all did it at once, or if they were taking turns, or if several did it at once. All I know is that suddenly there was a commotion.
You know that moment when you're a kid doing something you know is wrong, and you, or someone else gets hurt you try to hide it, or even get help while hiding the obvious distress. So, we have one child running to the lunch aid asking for a drink from the fountain trying to act as nonchalant as she can, while being unable to breathe. Like, she is pretty sure she is about to die, but can't be telling on herself and everyone else. Of course, the teacher (as any adult in this situation) recognizes the fear and panic the kids are trying (but failing so hard) to hide.
Paramedics, and parents were called. The kids were in hysterics crying. They were sure their life would be over once their parents got there. They were embarrassed, I'm sure.
The next day there was a school assembly about not putting Tide, or anything else up our nose, and about how dangerous it was. It wasn't just Tide that they sniffed. Nope. It was straight up Tide with Bleach, ya'll. It was so, so dumb. Super dumb. But, kids are dumb. Their brains aren't mature enough to make good choices all the time. That's why they require supervision and guidance from adults. It's not that today we have an exceptionally ignorant group of kids that have emerged from the population doing spectacularly ignorant stunts. There have always been kids doing fatally ridiculous stunts from the beginning of time. We just didn't have the internet to record it all in the before time. In that sense, I suppose it was somewhat more contained, because things didn't go viral then, but the dumb potential was always there, waiting to be released by one, "Hey let's...." or, "I bet you can't....