You would think a high school writer would only have to write about one stupid challenge (like the Tide Pods) in his lifetime but yet again the internet breaks all expectations and makes us all seem even dumber.
“Birdbox” is the newest hit movie on Netflix. The thriller follows a mother and two children in a world where invisible air monsters coax people who see them into insensible, impractical CGI suicides. In order to survive, people must cover their eyes when outdoors as to not be affected. It has received tons of attention and its fair share of memes all over the internet.
Admittedly the movie sucks, compared to blockbusters like 2018’s A Quiet Place. The movie’s pacing is slower and much less intense. However, the movie certainly makes great use of its limited budget with intense shots, specifically the car flipping scene. Movies like Birdbox prove time and time again you don’t need a huge multi-million dollar budget to sucker millennials into watching the film on their friend’s Netflix account.
And leave it to generation Z to make a stupid challenge over it.
The Birdbox challenge calls for a subject, usually a pea-brained teenager, to blindfold themselves and go about their daily lives and see what shenanigans they can get themselves in, while recording themselves of course. The only difference is it’s not mind melting suicide inducing monsters they should be worried about but their own stupidity.
I am not going to lie, I never have seen the Birdbox challenge on any social media. I go on Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Reddit but just because I don’t see it, doesn’t mean people aren’t doing it. Recently a Utah brain dead teenager drove their car while doing the Birdbox challenge, mimicking a scene from the movie where the protagonist must use a car GPS voice to navigate. No surprise, they wrecked their car in what has to be the stupidest thing ever done and makes me wonder maybe Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory is on to something.
And it continues, just a day from writing this a Tesla car owner blindfolded himself with his car on autopilot in a move that would give Elon Musk a stroke. Also, Jake Paul, brother of Logan Paul, (who filmed a dead body from last year) uploaded a video of him going blindfolded through the streets, nearly walking into traffic. Jake has millions of subscribers, primarily under the age of 12. With his over the top content, just like his brother, an upload like that puts ideas in kids heads like “if this yelling, adult blond dude can do it why can’t I?” Maybe being brain dead runs in the family.
YouTube has already taken action against the challenge forcing Jake to take the video down and releasing a statement against potentially dangerous pranks or challenges such as the Tide Pod and Birdbox challenges. That’s a pretty broad statement that seems too general to me and leaves open a ton of questions, what qualifies as dangerous? Legitimately great content could be at risk of deletion or demonetization. I propose a more specific approach geared toward these exact dangerous trends. If you search Birdbox challenge and sort the videos by the newest upload date, there are still plenty of re-uploads and amateur YouTube videos that pop up. YouTube’s statement is just to protect themselves against ligation. This will do little to stop the big names from uploading.
I imagine the challenge will gradually disappear into the pages of history as all challenges gradually do. It won’t be long before we find a new trend to ruin and find a way to hurt ourselves. Maybe we should let kids blindfold themselves if they want and walk the streets. After all, it’s what Darwin would have wanted.