Does Facebook Inspire Dangerously Stupid Stunts?

Far too many young folks strive toward Jackass fame when populating their Facebook profiles. Stunts that could either hurt or kill them, or others, become opportunities to score death-defying photos for posting online

Far too many young folks strive toward Jackass fame when populating their Facebook profiles.

Stunts that could either hurt or kill them, or others, become opportunities to score death-defying photos for posting on Facebook.

The proponents of the precarious movements such as planking, teapotting and pillaring appear to live on the edge and use Facebook as their stage to entertain their virtual audience.

Scientists say that teens have always subjected themselves to dangerous risk-taking because the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which governs decision-making is still developing in adolescence.

Is Facebook to blame if a teen decides to perform a dangerously stupid stunt? Well, there is currently no data available which states that social networking sites inspire reckless behavior in young people. Experts say that teens have always involved themselves in these types of behaviors except that in generations before, there were no publicly shared forums like Facebook.

The most recent Jackass-like stunt that is the latest global fad amongst young people is planking.

It’s a craze that is causing people to lie face down with their arms at their sides, positioning themselves as stiff as a board on structures in public places and be photographed for Facebook.

Sounds harmless enough? Well, far from it! Apparently, this latest sometimes death-defying sport, claimed its first victim last Sunday, when 20-year-old Acton Beale, an Australian, planked himself on the balcony railing of a seven-story building and plunged to his death.

Plankers can be found anywhere, on the roofs of moving vehicles, on rock formations and even across busy highways. Police in Australia are pretty fed up with the odd craze which has a heightened popularity there, and are cracking the whip by either ticketing or arresting anyone, who takes part in the risky public stunt which has a Facebook following of nearly 195,000.

And speaking of stunts, hot on the heels of planking is yet another Facebook fad that has caught on like wildfire called teapotting.

Based on the song, “I’m a Little Teapot,” the participants all assume a teapot stance while placing themselves in supposedly safe environments, so that they can also be photographed for Facebook. The originators of the sport are two Australian college psychology teachers who are promoting “responsible teapotting.”

Teapotting seems innocent enough but then again, there are always those death wish participants, who take the game to another bone-chilling level. The Facebook page has upwards of 3,500 followers, not including copycat pages and groups.

Planking and teapotting have now spawned another wannabe-extremist sport called pillaring. Similar to planking, pillaring is its cadaver-like cousin and requires standing straight and tall with no movement and again, placing yourself in odd places. Thus far, the lame alternative to planking has garnered some nearly 2,500 Facebook followers.

The art of one-upping has been around since the year of the flood.