The newest online challenge trending on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter— the “#BirdBoxChallenge”—has users filming stunts while blindfolded, some resulting in serious injury. Most online social media challenge games dare a user to complete certain tasks that promote risky behavior and have caused injuries and death.
Some social media challenges become popular by encouraging reenactments of scenes from popular films. The most recent example is the Netflix Original film Bird Box, a post-apocalyptic story about a family on a dangerous journey trying to escape monsters while entirely blindfolded.
Social media users attempting the #BirdBoxChallenge have filmed themselves wandering their homes blindfolded, running into walls, tripping over obstacles, and falling down stairs. In extreme cases videos show challengers covering their eyes and driving or running into traffic.
Young teens and adolescents, frequent users of social media platforms and applications, are more likely to engage in these online challenges. Their lack of impulse control and need for peer approval mean teenagers are more prone to engage in risk-taking behavior.
On January 2, Netflix released a statement in response to the numerous “failed” Bird Box Challenge posts, highlighting the dangers of the new social media trend.