Human beings are curious little things. Through creative inspiration, we can invent entertainment that will resonate with wider audiences that trickle down and take on larger movements shifting our culture in ways the creators could have never imagined. Did Orson Welles know that Citizen Kane would still be considered the greatest achievement in film 77 years after it was released? Did Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee know that their video for “Despacito” had the cultural battering ram speed to dethrone PSY’s “Gangnam Style” as the most viewed YouTube video of all time with nearly 6 billion views? As these things get popular, the people that consume these things also tend to sensationalize them in their own ways. Think the Ice Bucket Challenge or any meme featuring Drake’s awkward dance moves. The most recent case of this kind of fandom has come on the heels of Netflix’s wildly popular Sandra Bullock starring post-apocalyptic film Bird Box as fans have been partaking in a new viral sensation known as the Bird Box Challenge. So what is the Bird Box challenge, you may ask? Let’s unpack it, shall we?
The Bird Box Challenge — Yup, it’s a thing.
For those of us that have seen the film, the basis of this challenge is pretty obvious. But for those of you that have not and have come across the Bird Box Challenge since the film was released, bare with me. The film is set in a world that is under attack by mysterious spirit-like beings that put whoever sees them under a strange trance that either sends them into an unhinged murderous mindset or compels them to commit suicide. To avoid this nasty fate, Bullock’s character and the rest of her survival gang — including Lil Rel Howery, John Malkovich, two children known as “Boy” and “Girl”, and Machine Gun Kelly of all people — to wear blindfolds whenever they travel outside.
This has caused a slew of fans to try and imitate this dystopian future in search of YouTube glory. With how insanely popular the movie has been for Netflix, you can only imagine how many videos have been uploaded online since the Bird Box Challenge was created. In fact, the sheer amount of people ambling around their homes and venturing out into the street blindfolded has been such a cause for concern that Netflix had to release a statement disavowing the Bird Box Challenge warning of the harm that it could cause. “Can’t believe I have to say this,” their statement on Twitter read, “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.”
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
You see kids — if the alien-apocalypse hasn’t arrived yet, leave these stunts up to the professionals. The Bird Box Challenge just ain’t worth it.