Photo courtesy of Netflix Facebook page
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or maybe with a blindfold on), you’ve heard about Netflix’s most recent viral flick, Bird Box. Without any spoilers, it’s about a woman (played by Sandra Bullock) doing her best to find safety for herself and two children in a post-apocalyptic America—oh yeah, and they all have to wear blindfolds thanks to an invisible evil that’s lethal when seen by the naked eye (it’s a long story).
The film not only garnered views from more than 45 million Netflix accounts in the first week after its release, but also inspired tons of memes and a viral video trend: The Bird Box Challenge. In short, people have been sharing vids of themselves trying to do things while blindfolded, from walking to navigating a public sidewalk to even driving!
We know we’re stating the obvious here, but please warn your teens and everyone else in your life not to do this. Nearly all videos of Bird Box Challenge participants are filmed by another person, who we’d like to think (or maybe just hope) aren’t blindfolded, and can therefore keep the person they’re filming out of danger.
Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE. We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes.
— Netflix US (@netflix) January 2, 2019
While some see the Netflix tweet as a heartfelt warning, others see it as a way to inspire even more memes and attention to the film (after all, Netflix only said not to get hurt, rather that not to do the challenge at all). No matter Netflix’s benefit from all this publicity, the trend certainly has a lot of potential for danger and injury.
If you’re worried about your kids taking part—especially your teens behind the wheel—talk to them about the real possibility of getting hurt. But if your littler ones really want to give it a try, let them try the challenge at home with you close by sans-blindfold to keep them safe.