Cracking Open A Damaging Trend
Social media trends come and go. They can range from tame (remember “planking”) to dangerous. One of the latest trends on social media is called “TikTok egg crack,” where an adult cracks a raw egg on the forehead of an unsuspecting child and has a camera hidden to capture the child’s reaction.
It seems harmless until you watch some videos and see the hurt and humiliation on the kids’ faces.
The scene always starts similarly. There is a setup where the adult and child are baking together, which most kids are thrilled to have the chance to do. Ingredients are added to a mixing bowl, but when it comes time to crack the eggs to add to the bowl, the adult suddenly cracks the egg on the child’s head.
Most kids look shocked, some cry, some retaliate, others look confused.
Pranks can be funny, especially when played by an adult on another adult. Adults have the cognitive processing skills to understand that what is happening is supposed to be a joke. Children do not. All they know is that an adult they trusted just hit them on the head- and then that adult laughed about it. As parents or trusted adults, we are that child’s safe space. A space that should be free of shame or judgment.
Creating amusement at another person’s expense is bullying.
This new trend is just the latest in what many consider cruel pranks played on children for social media reactions and comments. While the responses are divided on the appropriateness of the stunt, I will call it what I firmly believe it is- abuse disguised as having a laugh. It betrays your child’s trust and then is broadcast on platforms for others to witness their humiliation.
Recently, in my community, videos surfaced in which daycare workers threw cheese onto the faces of babies strapped in high chairs and tormented toddlers with scary masks. Immediately, the public’s reaction to those videos was that this was child abuse. When I see parents participating in these trends, it registers as the same – if it would not be okay with you for another adult to do to your child, then it shouldn’t be okay for you to do it.
The next online fad is a fleeting thing. Acting with respect and kindness will always be the right thing to do. If you have broken your child’s trust, know that admitting you were wrong takes bravery. Fostering connection is what is truly important in any parent-child relationship.