If there is anything more mind-numbing than a fad, it is a social media fad. The latest is “neknominate.” It is not particularly novel; imagine awkwardly filming yourself downing a pint of lager complete with human excrement and uploading it to Facebook. There you go, that’s pretty much the gist. In other words, the star of the show is reduced to a form of cringe-worthy degradation that you would otherwise not have imagined sans Facebook pressure from the ones you call “friends”.
Of course, neknominate is the inevitable revelation of yet another face to the “Lad” beast – a pathetic manifestation of the machismo relic that poisoned many a university frolic. Do not mistake me, I made as fully as anyone the most of these tumultuous times, but for a great many drinking excessively in a group was simply not enough. No, for a great many, there had to be rules and control and power.
Enter the drinking game: an infectious disease that rendered its victims helpless to the wooing temptations of alpha-maleism. We now had to sit and sing songs and play cards and throw small balls into plastic cups. It is not that these things in and of themselves are not enjoyable, or that anyone is not allowed to partake, but at the hands of the “Lads”, one has to. Since when did making rules about who is permitted to drink, as well as when and to what extent, become enjoyable? The answer is never.
Now, not content with leaving their tiresome brand of organised fun at home, the drinking-gamers have imposed themselves and their toxic ways on the net. They have found another way to live vicariously through Facebook and in so doing transmit and have validated their supposedly towering manhood.
Allowing such a hollow and meaningless craze as neknominate to be broadcast to audiences of potentially billions only cements its place in the minds of the indoctrinable, the unintelligent and the insecure. “How can I turn it down?!” they will say with giddy excitement. “Are you mad?!” they will demand, “I won’t be known as the one who didn’t do the necknominate!”.
I, on the other hand, will forever revel in being known as the one who did not do the neknominate. Fuck the neknominate, I say, as will everyone else when the dust has settled and the next mindless craze is in full and seemingly unstoppable swing. Does anyone with an ounce of self-respect still wear their jeans backwards? No. Does anyone still like Savage Garden? No. Blacklights, desert scarves, mood rings, hashtags, selfies, “foodstagramming” – let me tell you, these things are not cool, and neither is neknominate.
It is a craze that will die along with the rest of them, and it is sad that the only noteworthy artifact of this dangerous fashion will likely be the death of more young (most likely) men who, bound by peer pressure, do not know better.