Opinion: Teenagers “going missing” for fun is utterly selfish, dangerous and could lead to the “boy who called wolf” – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views
January 15, 2019

Opinion: Teenagers “going missing” for fun is utterly selfish, dangerous and could lead to the “boy who called wolf”

More and more people, especially teenagers are going missing for a short period of time, typically 2 to 3 days.

Little Madeleine McCann is one of the most infamous cases of a missing person in the world.

Whatever happened to that child is still an ongoing mystery, but one that sadly is rapidly becoming a distant memory.

The tragedy produced unadulterated torture for the public, never mind her family.

The anguish of not knowing, the fear of what may have happened is unequivocal.

Then move on several years and up pops the so-called prank of a “72-hour-challenge”. The challenge consists of a sick twist of hide and seek. The only difference is, no one can know you’re hiding and no one knows where to seek you out.

There has been a surge in these challenges in Ireland over the past couple of years. Predominantly it’s teenagers between 14 and 19 who challenge each other to go missing for 72 hours without any notice to anyone. It doesn’t matter where they go as long as no one knows and as long as they don’t have their phone with them.

One Co. Louth mother told The Liberal:
“My son did a 72 hour challenge. He left his phone at home and did his best to get as many shares on social media as possible. I was scared out of my wits. I didn’t know what to do. He came home of his own accord eventually and after he saw he roaring crying, he admitted it was a so-called joke, but it wasn’t a joke. It was one of the most frightening experiences of my life and these teenagers need to realise what torture they’re putting their parents through”.

The purpose of the “challenge” is to get as many shares on social media as is possible within the three day time limit.

Many, many people from all quarters of society have condemned the act as being dangerous and stupid, but not many have stated how selfish it is.

Parents, families and friends have been left worried speechless up and down the country over this selfish challenge.

The problem is, as you’ve probably seen yourself, people get sick of “the boy who called wolf” and do my believe a lot of missing teenagers are genuine anymore.

That lies the main problem. Teenagers genuinely do go missing and this stupid challenge is masking them. It’s not fair and it’s wrong.

The Gardai issue press releases with images and details of missing people, whether they’re genuine or not – no one can tell.

The Liberal will continue to publish all gardai notices of missing people as the majority of them are genuine cases. We cannot run the risk of a “boy who called wolf” scenario playing out.

However, please share and show this article to your friends, in particular teenagers in a effort to try and wipe out this nonsense.

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