Do not try this at home. In the wake of Bird Box's massive success, a handful of social media users hatched an idea that has Netflix crying fowl. In a Jan. 2 tweet, Netflix issued a warning about the Bird Box Challenge (#BirdBoxChallenge), a new viral craze that involves participants attempting various mundane tasks while blindfolded. As the streaming giant tweeted:
"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."
The challenge is, of course, a nod to the perilous two-day journey that Sandra Bullock's Malorie must take to find a sanctuary located down a treacherous river. Not only does she have two young children (Boy and Girl, played by Julian Edwards and Vivien Lyra Blair, respectively) in tow, but all three must also remain blindfolded or risk falling victim to a "mysterious force" that brings death to anyone who lays eyes on it.
After Netflix dropped its original post-apocalyptic horror flick on Dec. 21, more than 45 million accounts streamed Bird Box in the first week alone, according to the streaming service. The company also claimed that, based on the total number of views, the thriller had earned the distinction of having the "best first 7 days ever for a Netflix film."
But even if someone hasn't seen Bird Box, there's no way they've logged in to Instagram or Twitter and not seen one of the countless viral Bird Box memes that have flooded the Internet in recent days. In that sense, for all its success, the film may have been an even bigger hit on social media, with the challenge it spawned also going viral almost instantly. Even GMA Day‘s Michael Strahan and Sara Haines attempted the #BirdBoxChallenge, with the former NFL pro hilariously attempting to put lipstick on his cohost.
As with most things, however, it's all fun and games until someone get's hurt. Some of the videos show people intentionally for comedy's sake. But then there are the seemingly authentic epic fails. In one video posted on social media, a blindfolded toddler smashes into a wall — while holding an also-blindfolded adult's hand, no less. Other posts show children crashing their bikes and running into a tables.
Fortunately, it doesn't appear there have been any major injuries outside of a few bumps and bruises. That wasn't the case, however, when the Drake "In My Feelings" challenge. In a clearly dangerous move, many participants jumped from moving cars and danced next to their vehicle while it remained in motion. One woman even had to be airlifted to a hospital when her attempt went horribly wrong, according to ABC's Illinois affiliate WQAD.
"I tried, and the last thing I remember was opening the door. So apparently I got out and tripped and fell and hit my head," the 18-year-old named Anna Worden, who reportedly had to re-learn to walk, told WQAD. She continued:
"When we got here and I finally gained consciousness in the ICU, that's when it hit me, like, wow, I'm actually in the University of Iowa hospital because I tried to do some little challenge everyone's doing now, and I'm the one that got majorly hurt," she said. "Be more careful about the challenges and fads that are going around. It may seem fun, and it may seem easy, but at the same too, they could be so dangerous."
On July 23, a government agency — the National Transportation Safety Board — even addressed the viral Drake challenge on Twitter: "We have some thoughts about the #InMyFeelings challenge. #Distraction in any mode is dangerous & can be deadly. Whether you are a #driver, #pilot, or #operator, focus on safely operating your vehicle."
Netflix is certainly hoping fans will heed their warning.