How Many Licks Does it Take to Get to The Center of Serious Trouble?

Brandon Clark | Staff writer |

Image Source: TikTok

TikTok, Instagram and even the relic that is Vine have been the source of numerous online trends and challenges over the years, such as the bottle flip challenge, the tide pod challenge and, as of recently, the devious licks challenge.

These shenanigans ebb and flow throughout the year, and for most, they are humorous activities that cause little to no damage to others or are limited to the participants themselves. However, some trends have gone too far, crossing the line and resulting in injury, like the Cinnamon Challenge and the Outlet Challenge.

During the month of September, “The Devious Licks” challenge was created and has since soared in popularity among social media users. The word described by Urban Dictionary is an act of theft that results in a serious cashout for the person carrying out the activity. The Devious Licks challenge started as lighthearted fun with people taking different odds and ends, most commonly classroom and bathroom items ranging from hand dryers to smartboards.

As time carried on, however, the challenge became less of a joke and more of a nuisance for many schools. One such school in Mobile, Alabama was forced to deliver severe consequences to a student who participated in the viral challenge. An unnamed teenager from Robertsdale High School currently faces criminal charges after making off with a school fire extinguisher. 

Luckily, the University of South Alabama hasn’t had this problem on campus, although some items have gone missing. Recently, I received a message from Resident Assistant, Mattie Teel, indicating that there would be an amnesty period for the return of missing campus items. In an email with Dr. Sheffield, the Director of Housing, to follow up with this issue, he elaborated on the situation at campus.

 “At the conclusion of move-in, we were missing a small number of cones. While I don’t believe this was part of the “devious lick” trend, oftentimes people take traffic cones. A number of traffic cones were returned during this period. I do not have an exact number.”According to Dr. Sheffield.

TikTok is aware of the mass effect the challenge has created and has since deleted most traces of the challenge off of its platform as it “may be associated with behavior or content that violates our guidelines,”according to a News10 article. However, a new challenge that has emerged that TikTok isn’t censoring is “The Holiest Yield Challenge” where, instead of taking things, a person brings personal items to their school. Oftentimes this means bringing home appliances, chairs or other decorations and setting them up in bathrooms. 

No matter what upcoming trend or challenge you decide to participate in, it is ultimately up to you to consider the possible repercussions for your actions and to choose wisely when it comes to having fun.

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