Santa Clara University


The Big Q

Back to Blog


Monday, Mar. 17, 2014

The first 20 student comments on “Neknominated” win a $5 Yiftee gift to a local business. Use your gift to try out that new flavor of ice cream or spend it on two slices of your favorite pizza. Entries must be received by midnight, Sunday, March 30th, 2014. Subscribe to the blog (by RSS or by e-mail in the right hand column) for updates.

**DISCLAIMER: All characters and scenarios in this post are fictional.**

Lawson is a junior at a large public school in California. He is still in touch with many of his childhood friends who now attend other universities around the country. Most of his communication with his old friends is over social media. One day, Lawson gets a notification from one of his friends at a college on the East Coast. In a video called a “Neknomination,” Lawson’s friend shows himself chugging four different types of alcoholic drinks while standing in the trunk of a moving car. His friend has now nominated Lawson to do a Neknomination within the next 24 hours.

Lawson looks online to research what Neknominations are. He finds out that the new Internet craze, that entails videos of people drinking alcoholic beverages on social media, originated in Australia with individuals recording themselves chugging a beer. The craze has now escalated, with participants trying to do even crazier stunts with booze than their friends who nominate them. He even reads about some deaths that have happened due to the challenge.

Lawson is faced with a difficult decision. On one hand, he doesn’t want to complete the nomination for many reasons. He isn’t 21 yet and doesn’t want to post a video of himself on social media drinking alcohol, because he is afraid of the repercussions it may have on him while job hunting. He doesn’t know if he can top his friend chugging four alcoholic drinks in the trunk of a moving vehicle. He also has academic commitments within the next 24 hours that will be negatively affected if he attempts a stunt.

On the other hand, Lawson wants to be a good sport and has always enjoyed competitions like this with his friends. He knows that if he doesn’t follow through with this Neknomination, not only will his good friend never let him live it down, but it will also be broadcast to his large network of friends since the craze all centers around social media.

Lawson isn’t sure what to do. Should he accept the Neknomination and post a video on social media? Should he try to top his friend’s post or just chug one beer? Is it ethical and safe for students to be playing a game like Neknominate on social media sites? If Lawson goes along, will he be contributing to the escalation of this game to unsafe levels?

Useful Resources:

A Framework for Ethical Decision-Making

Online Drinking Challenge Goes Viral Globally

Neknominate: 'Lethal' drinking game sweeps social media

Photo by Danny Howard available under a Creative Commons license.


Comments Comments

jina said on Mar 19, 2014
I think that neknominate is foolish and should not be attempted - Like
Junior said on Mar 19, 2014
It's funny and harmless (unless you're a fool) - Like
SCU Sophomore said on Mar 19, 2014
I don't think he should do the challenge or even feel pressured to do the challenge. I believe people (or at least people he really wants to associate with) would accept the fact that he doesn't want a video like that on the internet because of all the negative ramifications it could have. Would you hire someone who has proof that they've done something illegal on their social media sites? I'm glad to say that from the few that I've seen happen in real life before everyone was over 21 and they all were just sitting in their room doing it because no one bought into the "do something crazy while doing it" part because that is how it becomes dangerous. - Like
Jmoney swagg said on Mar 20, 2014
He should do it. It's #drinking #frat - Like - 1 person likes this.
Z said on Mar 30, 2014
Lawson should not feel pressured to do the nomination if he doesn't feel comfortable doing so. I believe that drinking responsibly and in moderation (even if underage) is acceptable, but the nomination that Lawson would have to "one-up" is neither responsible or in moderation. Furthermore, his academic commitments should definitely come first. I understand that Lawson would feel social pressure to complete the nomination, but there are truly no repercussions of him not completing it. Therefore, I argue that he should not even consider doing it. To some extent, it is important to disregard others' opinions, especially if they contradict your beliefs. Here, Lawson's intellect and reason are contradicting the desires of others, so I believe his intellect should take precedence. Furthermore, something such as neknominations on social media is so unimportant in the scheme of things, that I believe his friends would let the situation blow over after a few days. There is no way refusing to participate would negatively affect his relationship with his friends. - Like
Post a Comment

Tags: alcohol, alcohol poisoning, college, college students, decisions, drinking, drinking age, ethics, Facebook, social media, The Big Q, video contest