The Blue Whale Suicide I An Open Letter To Indian Parents I Why You Should Wake Up Now
The Blue Whale Suicide I An Open Letter To Indian Parents I Why You Should Wake Up Now

I have been meaning to write about the Blue Whale Suicide incident that was in mainstream media a few days earlier. And this prompt for day 4 from #WTFOF – Write a letter seemed the right way to do it and so parents – here is an open letter to you all.

As parents we always consider ourselves as the Paramount authorities of the family. We think we are the creators and protectors and hence deem sovereignty over everything that happens around our homes – even the feelings of our kids.

However in this process we forget to remind ourselves that our children are separate individuals. They have a life with their own ambitions, likes and dislikes. We as parents try to impart our best experiences into them and somewhere in the line some parents miss out to communicate rightly to their kids.

Blue Whale – What Is It

For you to understand why I am talking to the parents you need to know what this game is all about.

“Blue Whale Challenge“, is an Internet “game” that is claimed to exist in several countries. The game allegedly consists of a series of tasks assigned to players by administrators during a 50-day period, with the final challenge requiring the player to commit suicide.

The game is based on the relationship between the challengers (also called players or participants) and the administrators. It involves a series of duties given by the administrators that players must complete, usually one per day, some of which involve self-mutilation. Some tasks can be given in advance, while others can be passed on by the administrators on that day, the last task being suicide.

The list of tasks, to be completed in 50 days, includes waking up at 4:20 A.M., climbing a crane, carving a specific phrase on the person’s own hand or arm, doing secret tasks, poking a needle to the arm or leg, standing on a bridge and roof, listening to music, and watching videos sent to the challengers by the administrator.

Here you need to understand certain things – waking up early – and that too for a Teenager these days (or any day for that matter) is not a serious concern for parents. And of course Teens sleep in a different room and seldom do you find it astonishing for the Teen to be waking up early.

However some tasks such as carving on the hand, poking a needle or standing on the roof etc should be things to get worried and noticed.

And this game has mostly one task per day

The child would be under stress for at least the later half of the game – that is 25 days or so. Do you think as a parent you could be fooled off that easily.

I think there is a serious miss somewhere between buying a cell phone for your Teen and not monitoring his/her actions. I know we are all busy but a peep into the phone once a week seems doable.

The Players Are Chosen By Administrators

Okay, this is a scary part, and I really am finding it tough to comprehend too. The blue whale  game is not something you simply download and begin playing.

In fact if you never get to the real game if you were to search for the game, the admins of the game choose the player.

How Do They Choose

Facebook, Instagram and Forums are places where target players are chosen from. A person using hashtags that might point towards a depressed person seems to be a right victim.

The person is watched on different social media and then lure the teen into the game.

They give task after task and make sure the kid goes through to the final level.

A February report by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, a US government-funded broadcasting organisation, said one of their correspondents who had signed up for the challenge as a 15-year old asked what would happen if she wanted to get out.

The curator replied, “I have all your information. They will come after you.”

I hope you can just understand how dangerous this really is.

Discussion With Moms In SimpleIndianMoms

I discussed with moms in my facebook group SimpleIndianMoms about this game and its implications and got two different views, both of which seemed fair and justifiable.

Honey Prisha Lalwani  a blogger who blogs at Mammasaurus and Community Manager at Babychakra says  “A lot of it(the game levels) involves not letting the parents know and a lot of stages involve everyday tasks that no one notices.

I remember getting away with a lot of things as child not because my parents were careless but because my brains worked faster than theirs and I could work my way around it. Haven’t we all done things our parents never got to know about? You cannot have a 24×7 surveillance on anyone.

Plus victims are naive – with raging hormones and new found tags of having ‘grown up’ it is easy to get carried away. Can’t completely blame the parents, not the kids. The targets are set in a way that they do get trapped with ease. Errorists, druggists, everyone is targeting kids that age”.

How very true, I remember a day when I had a very serious fall in a picnic and blacked out for a few seconds. My friends had no idea of what to do and somehow got me up and we all went home. I had pain in my chest because I fell full on, but I managed to keep it a secret.

Communication -The Ultimate Parenting Tool

However Ashvini Deshpande A mom of 2 kids including a Teenager and an active participant of Akashvani, Raipur said the following from her experience, ” I see it in different prospect.as I am a homemaker and a mother of teenage girl.i didn’t provide her a personal mobile.

Whatever she does on social media is always on my check. I told her all do’s and don’ts of using social media and keep updating.I know now a days providing Mobile to kids is necessity for working parents to be connected with their kids but they should have real conversation too.

Its a peer pressure among kids to be in a group.only communication between parents and kids can stop these nuisance.kids should have that atmosphere and freedom at home so that they can share any thing with parents without any fear.parents should give that much confidence to their kids that what ever ups and downs they face parents are there to support them . But not in there deliberately done wrong deeds.telling what is wrong or right is parents responsibility”.

What Ashvini says does reverberate a chord within me as a parent. Yes communication is the key and if you talk with kids they will never fall prey to such games that are in search of depressed kids.

The game does sound and look scary but if you as a parent are a little careful, patient, mindful and calm you sure can maintain positivity in the family and encourage your children to grow into glorious adults.

The Blue Whale Suicide I An Open Letter To Indian Parents I Why You Should Wake Up Now
The Blue Whale Suicide I An Open Letter To Indian Parents I Why You Should Wake Up Now

 

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42 comments on “The Blue Whale Suicide I An Open Letter To Indian Parents I Why You Need Wake Up Now”

  1. Its been sad to hear about these incidents. I wasn’t aware of this game until first incident was reported in India. Such a horrific game and the irony is that the person who created this game this he is disposing biological waste. I sometimes wonder What times are we living in? Are we taking a step forward for betterment or pushing our self away 🙁

  2. I came to know about this game from the sad newspaper report . Parents can’t be monitoring their children 24/7 but what we can do is keep the channel of communication open. The kids should be encouraged to share their minutest concern with us.
    .

  3. Yes vasantha, what world are we in? we think our life is important and our career is important and suddenly something like this surfaces, just think of the dilemma of a parent

  4. It’s really scary, we as parents should always be available to our kids all the time. Should encourage kids to communicate freely.need to interact with their friends,arranging get togethers at home to know more about them. Everyone has different masks for situations.. friends know better than parents!And also engage them in good activities would make them to think healthy!

  5. This is such a scary trend. The sad part is, that children normally love to confide in their parents. But, parents destroy that confidence, at times, by being judgemental, or controlling. So, by the time the child is in his teens, all the door of communication is shut, on both sides. That door needs to be reopened.

  6. It was so shocking to come across these incidents. Scary how the evil in the world is out there to play with innocent minds.

  7. This is incredibly horrifying ! How can anyone be so devious and wicked ? Preying on the minds of children who are already confused…. can’t we do some kind of black magic to get such people out of the world ???? At times like this I really wonder about the existence of a God who is supposed to protect us all.

  8. This is so scary. I wonder how sick can people get to devise a ‘game’ like this.
    I think, all we can do as parents is to have open line of communication with our kids and watch out for signs. There are signs always, but in our daily grind of life, we tend to ignore them.
    Thanks for a very detailed and informative post, Menaka!
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Kabootar Ja Ja JaMy Profile

  9. I had read whole about this game when the recent suicide case was reported. Like you said they target depressed and vulnerable teens. This itself reminds us the importance of communication. It’s so important to install a secure feeling in kinds that no matter what their parents are there for them. These days, suicide is the easiest solution for very problem. Hope somehow this whole thing be wrapped up really soon without hurting any more kids.

  10. Very scary situation for parents when their kids are getting into that age bracket where all this suddenly begins to make connections! Thanks for sharing the post, Menaka. I’ve been very disturbed ever since I read that bit of news.

  11. Thanks for all the details, I knew about this but not as much!
    I think we have to talk to our kids too. The world has become a scary place:(

  12. That is the main concern Rajlakshmi – we need to educate our children enough to face these kinds of luring and how to be away from them. This becomes impossible without letting them know about the gadgets and the different usages of these gadgets

  13. I am like crazy from morning Rajlakshmi, I woke my son up at 6 am and told him to practice mindfulness with me from today. He was like- whaaat, why suddenly this? Though I have been asking him almost on a daily basis, today after writing this post I was bit scared

  14. I can understand you totally Lata, my son is 11 and I am at the verge of breaking everytime he breaks rules, but then when I sit back and think I feel I have done the same things and spoken very similar words when I was entering my teens too. Patience is what is needed for parents – we need to become more and more mindful. I thank god to have guided me towards mindfulness

  15. Its become a scary world Akshata, we are tied to our adhar, pan and mobile, kids have their adhar too. can we run and hide anywhere. As you have pointed out right we need to be careful of how much of ourselves we reveal to the world. Communication – and true open communication is the key here. I watched a movie this week, Veronica Mars (2014), the daughter and father speak so freely that I was repeatedly telling my husband we in India in the name of being conservative complicate things. We need to break that wall between kinds and parents as they grow

  16. Yes Kala, with the amount of information our kids are surrounded with we need to be extra careful in every aspect. Just thinking of how he was missed for full 50 days makes me wonder whether we have really entered some different era

  17. I was so terribly shaken by the whole incident Menaka that for the next few days I would keep popping into my son’s room to check on him. Parents need open conversations with children and should not daunt or taunt them. Times are bad, however good you may be. So it is vital to take precautions and be safe than sorry.

  18. Blue whale is a wake up call- overuse of internet, breaking of ties and an inactive communication channel under the guise of giving space to children are some of the reasons. As you rightly mentioned the predators look for depressed and vulnerable teens. Thats why its also important to be wary of how much of our true selves we reveal online- who knows who is watching.

  19. Reading about this Blue whale suicide has been disturbing. My children are in the same age group and that worries me even more. But as parents of teenagers, we need to be more communicative. The mobile phone is not the reason for the suicides. It is a lack of understanding between the child and the parents. At the 13-18 age group, children are rebellious. They will fight us and do everything to make us hate them. But as parents, we need to rise above the nitty-gritties. But always keep communication open. They should be ready to tell us their problems, their fears.

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