Facebook is often the go-to place online for different games and trends to take off, but some of them aren’t always the most appropriate. One “game” in particular is called “Smash or Pass,” and the stated Mission on one of its Facebook fan page reads: “To See Who Is The Hottest!” The concept behind Smash or Pass is that users (primarily teens) post photos of themselves that other users then comment on, stating whether they would hook up with that person (smash), not hook up with them (pass) or, on some versions of the pages, that they already have hooked up with that person (already had).
If this sounds bad enough for something that older teens or adults are participating in, a recent Fox news report found that kids as young as middle school-aged are engaging in Smash or Pass too. Family and child services expert Claudia Arthrell says that this is forming a “system of approval and disapproval” that can put a lot of pressure on kids to hook up just for acceptance. Not to mention the fact that being rated on physical appearance is degrading and a serious form of cyberbullying.
Some groups of kids are even creating Smash or Pass pages for their specific community or school, such as the “Downey Smash or Pass” in Downey, CA. On these pages in particular, students can have their pictures posted by fellow teens without even knowing it, similar to Burn Pages and other forms of school bullying directly through social networking sites like Facebook. While it’s unimaginable to think that our kids could be participating in this kind of “game,” it’s important for parents to have a solid understanding of what their kids are doing online. Ask your kids if they’ve heard of these kinds of online trends and explain to them the serious dangers of oversharing, online reputation damage and other online privacy and safety risks.
Have you heard of any kids in your neighborhood or school district participating in this kind of online activity?