Shell On Challenge: What Parents Need to Know

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April 18, 2019

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What is the ‘Shell On’ social media challenge?

  • Similar to the Tide Pod Challenge, the shell on challenge is a social media trend that is gaining popularity among students on social media
  • Teens are challenging each other to eat banana peels, candy wrappers, and other food items still in their packaging
  • To partake in the challenge, teens will shoot a video of themselves eating something with the ‘shell on’ and then post that video on social media
  • The term ‘shell’ is used loosely and has been known to include fruit peels, plastic packaging, and cardboard
  • Teens are mostly posting about the shell on challenge on Snapchat but it is gaining popularity on Twitter as well
  • The shell on challenge is gaining popularity because teens think it’s funny and harmless

Why should parents care?

  • Teens don’t think the shell on challenge is dangerous because they’re not ingesting chemicals like they did with the Tide Pod Challenge, however doctors are urging students to stop eating anything that isn’t food
  • Knowing about social media challenges and trends before your teen hears about them can help you keep them safe before an incident occurs
  • It should be a major red flag for parents if their child is partaking in dangerous activities and trends in order to gain attention on social media

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This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
This app is not safe for students to use unsupervised, but a Green Zone app can serve a positive purpose to help a student to navigate social media and someday build an online brand. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Green Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Gray Zone apps often contain lots of private & disappearing messages, and strangers can use this to chat with students. Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe. This zone can be a great place for family time since many of these apps can be entertaining, and let your students express themselves. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Gray Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone.
Red Zone apps often have lots of anonymous features, adult content, and easy contact with strangers. Supervision is strongly suggested on each of these apps or move your kids to a safer zone. All apps require parental supervision, these apps more than others. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Red Zone or view our list of 100+ Apps to find a safer app with your student.
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This trend is categorized as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge.
Viral challenges encourage students to do dangerous things to garner likes, views, attention, and subscribers. These challenges can be found across several social networks and may encourage students to perform dangerous activities. SmartSocial.com keeps parents updated on these social media challenges before an incident may occur in your community.

Table of Contents

The 'Shell On' social media challenge is a trend that is gaining popularity among students. Teens are challenging each other to eat banana peels, candy wrappers, and other food items still in their packaging. The challenge isn't as harmless as teens believe and it should be a major red flag for parents if their child is partaking in dangerous activities in order to gain attention on social media.

Parent & educator training video

What is the ‘Shell On’ social media challenge?

  • Similar to the Tide Pod Challenge, the shell on challenge is a social media trend that is gaining popularity among students on social media
  • Teens are challenging each other to eat banana peels, candy wrappers, and other food items still in their packaging
  • To partake in the challenge, teens will shoot a video of themselves eating something with the ‘shell on’ and then post that video on social media
  • The term ‘shell’ is used loosely and has been known to include fruit peels, plastic packaging, and cardboard
  • Teens are mostly posting about the shell on challenge on Snapchat but it is gaining popularity on Twitter as well
  • The shell on challenge is gaining popularity because teens think it’s funny and harmless

The shell on social media challenge in the news:

[The] ‘Shell on’ challenge is the latest dangerous Snapchat trend among teens… Teens are daring each other to eat plastic packaging, cardboard boxes and fruit peels — and posting videos of themselves doing it to Snapchat.

New York Post

There is a national Snapchat story that includes clips of people all over the country performing the shell on challenge. Most people just bite into an orange peel or banana peel, but some teens are taking it a step further.

USA Today

Why should parents care?

  • Teens don’t think the shell on challenge is dangerous because they’re not ingesting chemicals like they did with the Tide Pod Challenge, however doctors are urging students to stop eating anything that isn’t food
  • Knowing about social media challenges and trends before your teen hears about them can help you keep them safe before an incident occurs
  • It should be a major red flag for parents if their child is partaking in dangerous activities and trends in order to gain attention on social media

What can parents do?

  • Talk to your middle and high school aged children and ask them if they’ve seen any shell on challenge videos on social media. Creating a supportive and non-judgemental environment to have this conversation will encourage your child to open up and be honest
  • Discuss the risks of partaking in challenges like the shell on challenge and urge your student to think twice before liking or engaging with posts about it on social
  • Remind your kids that they should never do something just because it’s a trend or because it’s popular on social media
  • Teach your kids to have a purpose on social media and to use it as an extension of their student resume - this discourages them from following trends (while still being positive and having fun online)
  • To teach your children how to use social media with a purpose, help them find 2-3 things they want to be known for when future colleges or employers look them up online. For example:
  • Sports
  • Volunteering
  • Art
  • Photography

Conclusion

We urge parents to talk to their tweens and teens about social media challenges before they see them online or hear about them from their peers. When parents discuss social media trends with their kids, they're more likely to prevent an incident from occurring. While the shell on challenge might seem harmless to students it should be a major red flag for parents if their child is partaking in dangerous challenges in order to gain attention on social media.

Why is it important to highlight and provide truth to a trend people think could be a hoax?

  • Your kids may believe popular trends, even if they are intended by the creator to be a hoax
  • In our experience, social media challenges (like the Blue Whale Challenge) can start off as a hoax but then gain attention online (which gets many students taking the challenge seriously)
  • Learning about viral social media challenges before your children can help you keep them safe (and prevent them from trying the challenge with their friends)

How do you keep your kids safe from social media fads like the shell on challenge? Let us know in the comments below!


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