The “Bird Box” Challenge: Proof we didn’t learn our lesson from Tide Pods

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The “Bird Box” Challenge: Proof we didn’t learn our lesson from Tide Pods

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Netflix released the movie “Bird Box” (based off the book of the same name) on Dec. 13, 2018, and it became an internet sensation in the month that followed.

In this horror flick, a mysterious force is killing the human race, and if a person sees it, he or she dies. Therefore, Malorie, a mother of two young children (played by Sandra Bullock), must embark upon a journey to get her children to safety– which she can only do blindfolded.

“I thought it was an okay movie,” junior Peter Burks said. “I don’t think it’s really worth all the hype.”

Some of this hype is from the movie itself, but most of it comes from the internet, with memes and the emergence of a unique internet challenge. The rules of the “Bird Box Challenge” are pretty simple: Complete a task while wearing a blindfold.

What started off as innocuous has turned dangerous in some cases. If we’ve learned anything from the many challenges of the internet (think Tide Pods and the Cinnamon challenge), it’s that people are suckers for stupidity.

In addition to harmless videos featuring people in the bathtub blindfolded, this challenge has prompted some to drive blindfolded, including a 17-year-old from Utah who recently caused a highway collision.

“Why would you think it’s a good idea to drive blindfolded?” sophomore Scott Marshall said.

As a result, Netflix issued a statement in early January urging viewers to stop participating in the challenge, and even YouTube has started to take down any video showing people performing unsafe challenges.

YouTube released the following statement on Jan. 17: “We’ve made it clear that our policies prohibiting harmful and dangerous content also extend to pranks with a perceived danger of serious physical injury. We don’t allow pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger.”

Trends are great, but it’s important to not go too far. It’s also important for people to know what trends are safe (although maybe silly) and which ones are flat out deadly. So is the Bird Box challenge deadly? No, not inherently so. But you shouldn’t wear a blindfold and do things that are dangerous without your vision, like driving.

So here’s to hopefully learning from our past mistakes. Whatever trend that comes next, let’s hope will be used in less stupid ways.

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