Teens promote safe sex unsafely with newest trend #CondomChallenge

condom challenge head
It’s called the #condomchallenge — but it may not hold water.

Say what you want about teenagers on the Internet, but social media is increasingly becoming a powerful tool for encouraging (or at least attempting) people to participate in social good. Take, for example, the latest #condomchallenge intended to spotlight the importance of safe sex and using condoms. But despite the best of intentions, this stunt seems astonishingly unsafe.

The trend involves filling a condom as full as possible with water, so it looks like a blown-up balloon, and then dropping it onto someone else’s head. If you’ve managed this part correctly, the condom should end up wrapped around his or her head, with the water surrounding the face, yet still in the condom. The concern, of course, is not just the risk of suffocating while in a tub with a condom sucked to your face but also the possibility of drowning from the water inside the condom.

Indeed, for the most part, it is rarely a good idea to put a condom over your head.

The craze apparently kicked off last week by a group of friends in Japan in a YouTube video titled, “Japanese Condom Head Challenge.” The video currently has over 20,000 views and to some might seem an unlikely place for a safe sex campaign to start. Just a couple years ago, Japanese young people also started the trend to completely stop having sex, raising concerns that Japan “might eventually perish into extinction,” according to The Guardian.

The #condomchallenge isn’t the first time condoms have become part of an unsafe Internet craze either. Around the same time people began worrying about young people in Japan abstaining from sex, young people in other areas of the world participated in a trend that involved snorting condoms and then pulling them out of their mouths. And then there’s the cinnamon challenge. Sheesh.

While many of these trends seem disturbing and come with risks, some believe the various condom crazes on social media can become useful. And, at least we can rest assured knowing that young people might finally get the importance of using a condom properly.

Emerging Tech

How emotion-tracking A.I. will change computing as we know it

Affectiva is just one of the startups working to create emotion-tracking A.I. that can work out how you're feeling. Here's why this could change the face of computing as we know it.
Movies & TV

Skip the flowers and sunshine this spring and watch the best shows on Hulu

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Social Media

Facebook’s tributes section serves as an online memorial for deceased users

Death doesn't stop Facebook users from sharing memories, and now those memorialized posts have a dedicated spot on the network. Facebook Tribute is a section on memorialized profiles for users to write posts and share memories.
Social Media

How to protect yourself from GoFundMe scams before donating

Can you spot a GoFundMe scam? While the fundraising platform says scams make up less than a tenth of one percent of campaigns, some do try to take advantages of others' charity -- like a case last year that made national news.
Social Media

Your Facebook newsfeed is getting a spring cleaning, and so is Messenger

Hows that newsfeed looking? Facebook has shared an update on efforts to clean up the newsfeed, as well as what tools are coming next. Facebook has new Trust Indicators, while Messenger gains badges for verified accounts.
Social Media

Looking to officially rid your inbox of Facebook messages? Here's how

Deleting messages from Facebook Messenger is almost as easy as scrolling through your News Feed. Here, we show you how to delete an entire conversation or a single message, both of which take seconds.
Social Media

LinkedIn: Now you can express love, curiosity, and more with new Reactions

LinkedIn is following in the footsteps of Facebook (three years later!) with the rollout of new reactions that give users more ways to express themselves when responding to posts in their feed.
Social Media

Twitter’s experimental Twttr app is even more popular than the real thing

Twttr, the new app that lets regular Twitter users test new features, is proving more popular than the main app, according to the company. The revelation suggests some of the innovations may land for all Twitter users soon.
Social Media

Messenger and Facebook, together again? Facebook tests integrating chats

Longing for the old days where Facebook and Messenger were one app? Facebook is testing an integrated chat option. While Messenger remains more feature-rich, the test brings some chat functionality back into the Facebook app.
Social Media

How to download Instagram Stories on iOS, Android, and desktop

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down worldwide for 2 hours this morning

Chaos erupted on the internet this morning, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went down from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Thousands of users were unable to access the sites or send or receive Whatsapp messages.
Mobile

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.