Chances are you've heard of Facebook's Lying Down Game, a completely pointless yet wildly popular activity which consists of lying down in random, awkward places, getting your photo taken and posting it on Facebook. Sounds harmless... Until you risk losing your job for it, as seven British hospital staff members found out.
The Lying Down Game was created when Facebook first started, and spread like wildfire on the social networking site. It currently counts 66,294 members. The rules of the game are simple: lie on the floor or any other surface face down with your arms flat against your side and your toes pointing downwards ("Just as if you were standing, but vertically challenged", explains the site), get a friend to take your picture and then post it on Facebook. The more absurd the location the better. The more people involved the better. So far, more than 14,000 people have posted photos on Facebook.On an escalator in the Orchard Central Mall, Singapore. Posted on Facebook by Vincent Benedict Py Castro.
Seven staff members of the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, England, who called themselves the "Secret Swindon Emergency Department group", posted photos, since removed, of themselves lying down on the hospital's resuscitation trolleys, ward floors and on the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Helipad during a night shift. If they thought it was funny at the time, their management didn't. The unfortunate seven were suspended and face possible dismissal.
Swindon hospital director Dr. Alf Troughton told the BBC that "The Great Western Hospital sets high standards for staff behaviour at all times and therefore takes any such breaches extremely seriously". The case will be examined by a formal disciplinary commission early October, he told France 24.
Do you think the hospital staff's conduct while on duty at a hospital was unacceptable? Give your opinion here.
Some of the photos posted on the Lying Down Game Facebook group
"I guess it depends on where you work and how strict your bosses are"
I guess the consequences of playing the game on your workplace depend on where you work and how lenient your bosses are. If I suddenly lay down at work my boss would probably just laugh at me, but a hospital is an important place to work, so I'd expect them to be stricter there. Maybe they should have asked for permission or let their bosses know they wanted to participate in the game before doing it."
I started playing the game when I was 12 with my best mate Gary. I'm now 24 and work as a chef, but I still think it's fun! I never thought it would be this successful, though. We've been contacted by people from Canada, Australia, New-Zealand, Russia... It just shows how many silly people there are out there, all over the world."