This might be the most twisted game of hide-and-seek the world has ever seen.
Apparently, being a missing child is now a game, or “challenge,” among young people on Facebook.
It’s called the “48 Hour Challenge,” and the point of the game is to go missing for as long as you can within a 48-hour timespan. The participant accrues points by getting mentions on social media that they are missing.
According to Fox Carolina:
The challenge encourages kids go missing for two days and the goal is to get attention on social media. The more the child is mentioned as "missing" online, the more "points" they get. Upstate [South Carolina] parents were shocked when they caught wind of what the challenge is all about.
Law enforcement and parents alike spoke some common sense when it comes to the challenge.
“You can't take it lightly, even if you think it is something else or if their friend mentioned it's just a game,” said Rick Floyd, who monitors internet safety for Greenville County Schools. “They're still missing and they're juveniles, and you still have to look for them and spend just as much time and money as it takes to find them.”
What the kids doing this challenge don’t understand is that after 24 hours a person can be classified as missing, so if a child gets past the 24-hour mark of this challenge, regardless of whether they're actually "missing," valuable resources are needlessly used to find them.
One parent brought up the excellent point that this challenge could, and probably will, detract resources from children that are actually missing.
“You're also taking away from the genuine cases of kids that may actually be missing and in danger,” parent Bill Price said, “and instead law enforcement is going to be chasing their tails, so to speak, trying to find kids that are playing a game.”
Is childhood that boring these days that going missing has become a game? Are sports, video games and hanging out with friends that passé?
Kids should be allowed to be kids. Just don’t go missing!
(Cover photo: Flickr/Franco Bouly)