While many TikTok trends can be funny and innocent, the BORG takes it to a new level. This dangerous fad is taking college campuses by storm, and the results pose a danger to college students around the country.
One of the best ways to learn is to learn from your mistakes. However, you might not get a second chance when the blunders have potentially deadly consequences.
Today, we’re looking at the BORG trend and why it’s a problem.
Let’s get started!
What is a BORG?
The term BORG stands for “blackout rage gallon.” They’ve become a regular at party scenes on college campuses nationwide. The trend involves mixing half a jug of water, a fifth of vodka, and any sweeteners or electrolytes the drinker prefers.
TikTok has no shortage of videos showing how to make these special recipes. They typically state that the water helps them stay hydrated and eliminate hangovers. In addition, the videos make it appear safe to drink such an excessive amount of alcohol.
Drinkers typically assign funny names for their jug. Some clever names we’ve seen are “Captain Borgan,” “Borgan Donor,” and “Ron Borgundy.”
They’re almost amusing enough to cause you to overlook the potential dangers.
Why Are BORGs Popular With College Students?
BORGs began appearing on TikTok in 2020 but have gained popularity over the last year. The initial appeal of these dangerous concoctions was to increase safety. Plus, drinkers would rather not share beverages with others.
Additionally, many believe the increased level of water and electrolytes counteract the effects of alcohol. Whether college students buy into the lie or not, it’s a novelty item for many.
Many feel that carrying a large jug to a party is fun and unique. Seeing who could come up with the funniest name for their drink was a part of the appeal.
As the trend has grown over the past year, more and more videos are finding their way onto social media. The more people see this kind of content, the more normal it seems. People tend to lower their guard and accept dangerous behavior when they perceive it as typical.
However, as we’ll soon see, this trend is anything but safe.
What is TikTok?
If you’re unfamiliar with TikTok, it’s a social media app focusing on short-form videos. Users edit their content down to 15 to 60-second clips. You’ll find various topics, from educational content to comedy sketches and everything in between.
The platform utilizes a complex and sophisticated algorithm to curate content for each user. The videos it recommends will vary considerably from a friend or loved one. It learns your preferences and feeds you content designed to keep you on the forum.
TikTok was launched in 2016 out of China as Douyin by the company ByteDance. They renamed it TikTok when they released the app internationally.
Today, it has more than a billion monthly active users. This puts it in fourth place in social media popularity behind Facebook (2.9 billion,) YouTube (2.2 billion,) and Instagram (1.4 billion).
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Is the BORG TikTok Trend Dangerous?
The BORG can be incredibly dangerous despite what the content creators tell you. People need to know their limits when it comes to drinking. In addition, once they reach their quota, they must stop.
Unfortunately, not everyone stops when they should. The dangers of drinking a BORG can depend on what’s in it and how quickly you consume it.
Dr. Pantea Farahmand, a clinical assistant professor in the Departments of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Adult Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health, bluntly said, “A BORG can kill someone.”
Someone who drinks an entire one of these jugs is consuming approximately 16 shots of vodka. No matter how much water you gulp down, it won’t counteract the consumption of so much booze. Ingesting this amount can easily lead to alcohol poisoning.
Anyone wanting to avoid a hangover should instead watch how much they drink. There’s nothing wrong with having a good time, but it can quickly turn dangerous. This is one trend that we strongly suggest you avoid.
How Can TikTok Trends Be Dangerous?
TikTok trends can be hazardous as content creators fight for attention and views. They’ll say or do anything to watch their viewer and follower counts grow. They hope to create the next viral video that launches them into their 15 minutes of fame.
Teenagers, the primary users of the popular app, typically start by participating in harmless challenges. These individuals have yet to fully develop their prefrontal cortex, which helps with analyzing and self-control. As a result, they’re more likely to take risks and weigh the consequences of their decisions.
One example was the “Angel of Death” challenge that became popular in Indonesia in the summer of 2022. It involved individuals jumping in front of moving trucks to see if the driver would stop. Sadly, two people died, and several others faced legal consequences.
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Can BORGs Be Considered a Form of Harm Reduction?
Let’s be clear. BORGs can be incredibly dangerous. On the other hand, some attributes could help reduce harm to drinkers.
These jugs can help control the amount of alcohol someone consumes. By measuring the ingredients, they know precisely how much they’ve drunk throughout the night. In addition, it’s easy to know exactly what’s in their beverage.
However, this relies on the maker to place a reasonable amount of alcohol in their jug from the start. Fortunately, it’s easier to make this decision when you’re sober than after putting back a few.
Additionally, they make it easy for non-drinkers to enjoy the fun without alcohol. Individuals can easily pretend to catch a buzz as they down their alcohol-free gallon, and people may not even notice the difference.
Overall, the trend generally poses more harm than good. Individuals can easily find themselves overconsuming and in a dangerous situation. Alcohol poisoning on college campuses has been an issue for generations, and BORGs don’t help reduce the problem.
Whatever You Do, Avoid the BORG
We live in a world where people will do about anything for likes and views on social media. Unfortunately, many people are too trusting and don’t think about the consequences of their behaviors.
TikTok trends, like the BORG and other viral content, are becoming serious problems. People are making terrible decisions and putting themselves in danger because of these fads. Don’t let yourself or a loved one be one of them. Always drink responsibly.
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