“Bird Box,” a Netflix Original horror movie that has been seen by over 45 million people, is causing quite a stir on social media, but the company promises that wasn’t its intent. SPOILER ALERT: In the movie, characters realize that if they see an invisible entity, they will kill themselves. In order to keep themselves from seeing it, they go around all day wearing blindfolds. Perhaps too many kids were home during winter break, and decided they needed something to do, so someone created the “Bird Box Challenge.”
People now film one another going around in their day to day lives, blindfolded, almost hoping that something goes invariably wrong, for the sake of garnering more Instagram likes. You might think this is ridiculous, but then again, so is the egg photo that broke Kylie Jenner’s most-liked Instagram record with over 43 million likes, and boy is she mad! But let’s stay on topic.
Disclaimer Not Claimed by Challengers
On January 2, Netflix issued a statement, well, actually a Tweet, asking people “PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE.” Yes, in all caps. That post only got 305,657 likes. But, of course, people didn’t listen. On January 11, a 17-year-old female, driving a pickup drop down Layton Parkway in Layton, Utah, you guessed it, with a blindfold, got into an accident with another car, and ricocheted into a light pole. Fortunately, there were no injuries.
Social Media Challenges — a Deadly Trend
Social media trends start one way or another, but sometimes they have tragic, and deadly consequences. One of the earliest challenges, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, resulted in two deaths, including an electrocution and a drowning. Then there was the infamous Cinnamon Challenge, which killed four year old Matthew Radar, by asphyxiation, after he aspirated nearly a whole container of cinnamon and couldn’t breathe, causing his body to seize.
But perhaps the most horrifying social media challenge is Blue Whale, which is a game, of sorts, that provides a chosen person with a challenge to do every day for 50 days, but in the end actually encourages the challenger to kill themselves, an eerily similar premise to the Bird Box. It is estimated that over a hundred people killed themselves over the Blue Whale Challenge.