Ithaca College senior Molly Podell sat in senior Meagan Humphrey’s car in a vacant parking lot on March 3, its headlights flooding light into the bitter cold night. In the backseat, senior Jordan Mancuso pulled a nun costume and gaudy cross necklace out of his backpack and handed it to Podell. She quickly donned the costume in excitement, asking Mancuso how she looked before rehearsing her lines in front of her iPhone.
Mancuso stopped Podell before she continued her impromptu rehearsal.
“Who are you going to nominate?” he asked.
Podell was preparing for her neknomination, also known as neck and nominate, video. Neknomination is an Internet drinking game where a person, who was nominated by a previous participant, engages in a comedic skit and drinks a pint of beer, all while being recorded on a cellphone. The participant then nominates three other people after completing the pint, and those nominated must fufill the challenge within 24 hours.
While there is no consequence to whether or not the call is answered, college students across the United States have been participating in the popular trend and sharing their videos on their Facebook timelines.
Before creating her own video, Podell did some “Facebook stalking” to figure out why so many of her friends were posting the short clips. Soon enough, Podell was nominated by her two friends, seniors Eric Ankerud and Scott Walle.
“We’ve been friends since sophomore year,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s weird that I was actually honored to be nominated.”
Students run the risk of frostbite in snow-related “neknomination” videos
Senior Lindsay Kingston heard about the nomination videos from her friends in her hometown of Buffalo, N.Y. She said when she was nominated, Kingston chose to snowboard on her own property in a bikini and land in the snow with no clothing covering her bare skin.
“I did [the video] on private property, so I was not scared of ‘getting caught,’” Kingston said. “I was just scared of being really cold and possibly getting frostbite.”
Though Kingston didn’t participate in enough strenuous activity to send her body into shock once she drank her cold beer, she did put her skin in risk of frostbite. According to the Mayo Clinic, direct contact between snow and skin can freeze tissue, causing frostbite. However, Kingston did not sit in the snow long enough for this process to occur.
“Neknomination” videos may affect participant’s social media presence
Other than possible bodily harm, neknomination videos may affect a participant’s online presence. Senior Melissa Pezzello changed the privacy settings on her video so her family and other adult Facebook friends couldn’t view it. Podell said she has considered completely taking down her video.
“I haven’t taken it down yet, but I am thinking about it,” she said. “Having a video of me chugging a beer on Facebook may not be the best idea as a senior in college starting her job search.”
Despite some negative factors, the neknomination trend continues to be prominent entertainment on social media. Even risking her image among her Facebook friends, Podell said the experience was worth all of the hype.
“I don’t always get the opportunity to chug a beer in a nun costume, so that made it a very unique experience,” she said.