BirdBox challenge leads to deadly injuries

With a new meme or trend overtaking the Internet seemingly every new day, it should come as no surprise that the newest challenge has arguably become one of the deadliest and stupidest yet. 

After Netflix released the “Bird Box” starring Sandra Bullock, a new challenge emerged following the movie’s theme that the characters must wear blindfolds to avoid the evil around them. If they look, it means certain death.

Many Twitter users and Youtubers decided to make videos of themselves performing various tasks while blindfolded, calling it the Bird Box Challenge. Some challengers even did things like wearing blindfolds for 24 hours and riding go carts with blindfolds.

While this challenge seemed like it was all in good fun, controversy exploded when parents posted videos with their children in blindfolds taking on the challenge. One video with a small toddler resulted in a concussion for the child, causing an outbreak of backlash from Internet users and Netflix itself. 

On Jan. 2, Netflix put out a tweet urging watchers to stop trying the challenge. Netflix told Twitter users that they appreciate the support, but no one should end up in the hospital over a meme. “Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE,” Netflix said in the tweet.

Youtube also took measures to disband the challenge, banning all videos that show and promote anyone at all doing this challenge. They also banned any and all videos containing dangerous pranks, which often cause harm to the uploader. 

Despite these warnings, many decided to ignore the advice and continue to challenge themselves and others. One 17-year-old girl actually drove her pickup truck down the road blindfolded, eventually hitting another car and a light pole before she came to a stop. Luckily, no one was injured, but it’s just a matter of time before someone gets seriously injured as a result of this challenge.

This idea of a dangerous challenge is nothing new in our society. In fact, one can look back at dangerous challenges like the Tide Pod challenge or the fire challenge (where one sets oneself on fire).  

It’s a concept that has made many around the world stop and ask the same essential question, “Why? Why put yourself at danger for something so stupid?” But yet, we still come up with a new dangerous challenge to try out. 

In order for us to discontinue this dangerous pattern, we need to stop letting the hashtags trend. Popularity is the ultimate attractor, and the main reasons why people are putting themselves in such dangerous situations.

Even though it may seem like you are gaining worldwide fame from trying an Internet challenge, chances are that your video will be lost in the stream of millions and forgotten about within the next 24 hours. 

Blindfolding yourself is never a good idea, especially if you are just doing it to put on the Internet. Let’s end this madness and overcome the next thoughtless challenge that gets thrown our way.

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