Bird Box “Challenge” is a Dangerous Influence

Charlotte Wolff, Staff Writer

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Don’t drive while blindfolded. This is a warning that many drivers discern almost immediately after beginning to drive. However, after viewing the 2018 movie Bird Box some fans decided to do “the Bird Box Challenge”.

 

The movie Bird Boxis about an essentially invisible force that, when seen, causes people to commit suicide.  What is left of the human race figures out that they can only survive if they wear blindfolds that are kind of gauzy, so that they can barely see – kind of like trying to drive while looking through a frosted windshield in the morning. In one part of the movie, a woman is forced to raft down fast-moving rapids while fully blindfolded. This may seem like a last-resort option for someone only in that specific circumstance, but January of 2019 has proven that it’s not so far off from reality.

“The Bird Box Challenge” prompts fans of the movie to perform everyday tasks while blindfolded, often with harrowing consequences. For instance, in an attempt to “Bird Box”, one Layton teenager crashed her car while driving with a hat completely restricting her vision. In another instance, a “Bird-Boxing” tattoo artist decided to attempt to ink a client while blindfolded, with a predictably bad result.

 

The trend is seen by many as stupid and foolish, including Highland student Abby Khatri.

“The challenge is dumb idea. If someone is driving while blindfolded, they’re obviously half-witted. I hope no one copies them,” Khatri said.

 

Seemingly idiotic internet challenges are not a new fad. At the beginning of 2018, kids as young as 12 began eating laundry pods, prompted by “the Tide Pod Challenge”. Many of those people ended up in hospital emergency rooms with life threatening poisonings.  Soon after that, a new internet dare emerged, “the Hot Coil Challenge”, encouraging viewers to burn their forearms on a hot stove – the danger and consequence being self explanatory. Each of these these “challenges” are silly, dangerous and thoughtless, which leads to the question of why are some teenagers persuaded to do them?

 

Many kids and teenagers have what are called “daredevil brains”, which essentially means that they can be easily pressured by their peers to engage in risky behavior.  They might accept these challenges because in their mind, they will become part of the large group of people who perform the challenges, giving them a sense of belonging and status.

 

Part of the solution to stopping these challenges from becoming viral could be to continue to make more use of star musicians, actors and athletes (like Rob Gronkowski of the Patriots on the Tide Pods) to go on social media to discourage kids from participating.  Also, since kids might be accepting the challenges for peer approval, young people should also take to social media to immediately criticize the challenge and be clear that it is seen as dumb, rather than something to be rewarded as daring.

 

Finally, You Tube has banned prank videos that show people engaged in these types of challenges, and Netflix, the producer of Birdbox, has tweeted that people should “not hurt yourselves with this Bird Box challenge.”

 

 

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