Parenting

Blue Whale Challenge – The Way Out

Blue Whale Challenge

I had been thinking of writing on this since I read about the first incident, about the first teenager in India who ended his life over some game. Really? There are games which end with one committing suicide? So, when I read about this deadly online game – Blue Whale Challenge, I was appalled.

About Blue Whale Challenge

By now, I’m sure many of us would have searched, read, and talked about the Blue Whale Challenge. So, I will talk about only a few of the basic details here.

A Russian online game Blue Whale pushes the teenagers, with depressed and suicidal mindset to end their lives. Although Police have not yet confirmed that the teenage suicides in India are linked to this insane challenge, parents’ of these children say that their children were under the influence of this game.

Surprisingly, Blue Whale Challenge is not a generic link or app which can be searched or downloaded from the Internet or a play store. It’s more like the creators of the game pick their victims than the players seeking the game. The players are identified through secretive and closed groups on social media networks using a particular set of hashtags and keywords used by children in such groups and then the creators send them an invitation to join.

So, initially the tasks/challenges are easy like waking up at 4:00 am, watching horror movies, or going to a graveyard alone, but later the tasks become gruesome like scratching a whale on one’s arm, spilling hot oil on the hand, uploading one’s naked picture, standing on a cliff or a ledge, with the last task to kill oneself by any means.

Why can’t players back out from Blue Whale Challenge?

The pressure of proving oneself, infatuation, and a bad company can be a few reasons why a huge number of teenagers have fallen prey to depression and insecurities.

The sense of failure, poor self-esteem, and the feeling of being ignored pushes such children to social media platforms, the best place to vent out their helplessness.

They find freedom in the virtual world and are filled with hope and belonging. As a result, they become a victim of these deadly games. Their need to prove themselves is so strong, they aren’t even afraid of indulging in harmful and suicidal activities.

Surely, there would be children who wish to back out, but they don’t. Why?

There are children who become fearless and enjoy the tasks and knowingly continue playing the game. These tasks give them the pleasure of achievement, which they lack and crave for in the real life. However, when children/players reveal their desire to qui the game, the curators blackmail the children with the threat of uploading their naked images online or hurting them and their family.

Are there other games like Blue Whale?

I was surprised to know that Blue Whale isn’t the only player in the rink. There are a plethora of deadly games targeting psychologically insecure and vulnerable children across the world.

Some of the equally insane games are: Watch this 3 min video

How can you help your child – THE WAY OUT 

For starters, restrict the screen time of your children from the very beginning and make your child live without devices/gadgets. Inculcate the habit of reading, encourage them for outdoor activities, and most of all sit with them and talk, no matter how old they grow. Make room for some family time in your routine, this is one thing all of us are losing out on.

Though a few pieces online also say this game is a hoax, the fact that children died cannot be overlooked. Watch out for signs in your child like:

  • Not interacting at home, talking about running away or dying
  • Spending way too much time on phone/laptop/social media
  • Changed behaviour
  • Cut marks/bruises on their body
  • Being secretive about their activities
  • Reluctant to talk about something

Many schools have undertaken measures to curb the dangers of Blue Whale. Schools in Uttar Pradesh have banned mobiles in school premises while Punjab schools have asked students to wear short-sleeved shirts to check for whale tattoos.

CONTACT INFORMATION OF CENTRES TO HELP IN SUCH CASES: Blue Whale Challenge PDF (Please Forward)

Stop pressurizing your children to compete with the world, with your wants, or with everything. Instead of being a parent be a friend to your child, so when your child needs a friend they don’t search for a shoulder outside.

Make your child feel they are not alone. Make them believe you are there to hear them out without being judgmental. The Internet is a world much more dangerous and insidious than we can ever imagine. As parents, your duty and responsibility don’t end with just providing for your child. Be alert and aware of your child’s surroundings, they are at a tender age, be with them, mentally and in person.

“Listen to your child’s Silence. They might be exploding inside.”

You can read more about Blue Whale Challenge here. 

 

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Life through my Bioscope

Author: rashi mital

A mother and a travel enthusiast, I love speed and am proud of my driving skills. In my free time I love reading, writing, and sometimes doing nothing. I try to live every moment and believe in living young despite the age.

13 Comments on “Blue Whale Challenge – The Way Out

  1. This is truly scary and I’ve warned my children over and over again about not revealing personal information online. I keep an eye on what they’re playing, also join in for a bit sometimes, even though I’m terrible at computer games. They get a great kick about the fact that they manage to defeat me in minutes but at least that way I know what they’re playing and make sure they’re safe online.

  2. “Listen to your child’s silence, they may be exploding inside” I guess this is the summary of the role that a parent needs to play in a child’s life. I agree that communication is the key, but parents also need to be vigilant to observe small changes in the behaviour that may have significant implications.

    1. I agree too Anupriya. I think the reason y children embrace depression or get detached, is coz we as parents are so busy in our lives, that at times, we forget to give adequate time, love, attention to our children. And this lack of time we compensate with gadgets, or other worldly materials. And as they say- the best gift u can give someone is it time. When we give time to children we heed everything related to them. 🙂

  3. Is it only a child who falls prey ? Are adults immune to depression, suicidal tendencies , or exempt from playing . Men who constantly search for poem sites are easily blackmailed into playing dangerous games, women at home surfing the net can get easily convinced to take part in something more exciting than keeping home. Blue whale has opened our eyes to everyone ‘s silent suffering

    1. I agree Kuheli. But, I feel children of any age are pulled in to playing online games easily, cuz they are more attracted to such things. Plus, they are still in the learning phase and easy prey to such games. The reasons of depression in adults are different from that of in children. Men and women can differentiate from right and wrong, good and bad, and can keep a check on their activities. Whereas kids are easily lured into such traps. But, you are right, blue whale has emerged as an eye opener, that we need to be aware of our surrounding circle, adults and children alike. Thanks for reading. 🙂

  4. This is such an informative post. Before this, I never knew such things existed. I think the developers of such games should be punished hard. My toddler is 3 and sometimes get access to crazy videos while accessing other’s mobiles, which I keep my eyes on. What is required is healthy and open communication at Home. Thanks for linking up with #QuotedStories

    1. That’s right Upasna. I too am scared for my daughter though she is also just 2 yo. And you’re right again, a healthy and communicative environment at home from the beginning will keep everyone together and the children in check.
      Hope I have covered all the guidelines required for the linky with #QuotedStories. Thanks for reading. 🙂

  5. My son is 9. He is not allowed to go online and not without supervision, if at all. I have talked with him and was surprised that he knows a lot about it from his friends. As parents we need to be aware of whatvare children are doing online and be aware of any sudden changes in their behaviour.

    1. That’s great Varsh. My daughter is 2 yo, yet m really scared when she grows up to be able to access the internet. But, I reckon if I keep a check from the beginning it might just be an issue later. Fingers crossed. Thanks for reading and giving tips too. Cheers! 🙂

  6. The more this information passes around, the better informed will be the parents and teenagers alike. I have written a post on this recently on my blog as well. It’s a scary online world there and we must watch out for signs in our children of all ages.

    1. That’s right, Vaishali. I really hope parents become aware of the behaviour of their children along with these scary online games. Online is not always a safe place to be. Thanks for reading. 🙂

  7. Thank you for this detailed and insightful article on this deadly game. Have shared it within my school group and among my friends and family. As you mentioned, it is the lack of family time and the increasing competitive atmosphere that’s making young children look out for help and become vulnerable.

    1. Thank you so much for reading and more for sharing it ahead. I hope more number of parents become aware of such games/apps. You’re right. Children find solace in such games or sites coz they lack attention at home, which they hence get through such places. In the coming times not just kids but even adults will become vulnerable. As the saying- a stitch in time saves nine. So, spend time together from today.
      Thanks much for reading and sharing, again. 🙂 CHEERS!

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