Sam Gilbert is a journalism sophomore and Mustang Daily health columnist.  

What exactly do you think it is about Tosh.0 and the television show Wipeout that is so addicting? Let’s point out the obvious: We love making fun of other people for doing stupid things.

I know this is horrible, but even just seeing one of my friends accidentally trip results in me immediately laughing. Sorry, but it’s true.

Why is it like that, though? I’m such a hypocrite for saying this, but it actually is weird that we laugh at others’ mistakes. However, I do believe there comes a time when it stops being funny and starts becoming serious.

With the endorsement of YouTube and shows such as Tosh.0, games such as the “Cinnamon Challenge” and the “Pass-Out Game” just seem like something to do when you’re bored. In reality, however, the consequences of these activities are nothing to laugh about.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Cinnamon Challenge, let me fill you in. The rules are simple: Take a spoonful of ground cinnamon, put it in your mouth and try to swallow it. Seems simple enough, right?

Well, no — not right. I wouldn’t be writing an article on its dangers if the challenge were that simple.

Those participating often end up coughing uncontrollably and spewing cinnamon from their mouths. That’s not the worst of it, though.

According to the The New York Times, the Journal of Pediatrics published a study finding that calls to poison control centers and emergency rooms have begun growing steadily as a result of this game.

“Some teenagers have suffered collapsed lungs and ended up on ventilators,” the article reads.

The report found that in 2011, 51 calls were received by the American Association of Poison Control Centers as a result of the Cinnamon Challenge and as many as 178 in the first half of 2012. The calls for immediate attention have been rising and showing the same pattern ever since.

“Most involved adolescents were suffering from burning in the airways and in some cases nosebleeds, vomiting and difficulty breathing,” the article reads.

Although cinnamon is basically harmless, large doses can be because the spice contains cellulose, which can build up in the lungs.

An article by NBC News also warns readers about this fad and the potential harm it can cause by telling the story of Dejah Reed, who suffered the consequences of the challenge.

According to Reed’s website, she took the challenge four times and ended up with a collapsed lung when she inhaled the spice.

“For those who haven’t done it yet, I beg you not to do it! There are still people that are doing it or wanting to do it. So, I’ve come this far to let the world know how dangerous it is,” Reed wrote.

Now if that doesn’t seem like the dumbest way to sacrifice your health just for a few minutes of laughter, let’s talk about the Pass-Out Game.

This game was extremely popular when I was in middle school. I remember reading an article in Teen Vogue (obviously while trying to be trendy and cool) and hearing about the consequences. I yelled at my friends to stop playing.

Demonstrated by many videos on YouTube, this game works by restricting enough oxygen to the brain in order to receive a euphoric high.

In order to play, you must apply pressure to the neck in order to cut off one’s oxygen supply, and then release the pressure to result in a sensation.

According to Today, “It is particularly deadly when they do it alone because there is no one there to be sure they come out of the pass out phase.”

Some deaths from this game are reported as suicides because kids will often use ropes or bicycle chain locks to choke themselves, while accidentally hanging themselves instead.

“It’s like a drug. You’d just be out for half a minute but it feels like you were out for an hour or two,” participant Ian Max is quoted as saying in the article.

Although this may seem funny or seen as something to do when you’re bored, the possible results are just not worth it.

Like the Cinnamon Challenge, videos of the Pass-Out Game may be featured on popular media outlets in order to be comical. However, the consequences are nothing but.

If you really need a good laugh, watch the movie “Bridesmaids.” Or just read the campus alert emails warning of mountain lions and wild turkeys running loose around San Luis Obispo.

Stay safe, Cal Poly, and don’t let YouTube videos alter your judgment.

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