In December, Netflix’s popular movie “Birdbox” captured audiences, spurred memes and sparked debates among its 45 million viewers during the first week of release.

Since then, the film starring actress Sandra Bullock has given rise to one of the latest dangerous internet “challenges,” and Netflix is urging fans of the movie not to participate.

Perhaps unsurprisingly in today’s media-obsessed world, people have been uploading and sharing videos of themselves wandering around blindfolded doing the #BirdboxChallenge, which is inspired by scenes depicted in the movie.

In the film, Bullock (Melanie) and two children (Boy and Girl) navigate a post-apocalyptic world while blindfolded to avoid seeing an ominous figure. In “Bird Box,” seeing the mysterious monster has deadly consequences.

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In hopes of going viral, people have attempted to emulate the movie by wearing blindfolds, staggering through their homes and fumbling around outdoors which, in some cases, has led to painful results.

In one video, a blindfolded family of three is seen running around indoors for eight seconds before a toddler smashes into a wall. In another video on Twitter, a motorist covers his eyes with a beanie hat while driving on a highway.

Netflix issued a wake-up call on Twitter, writing: “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.”

In December, the digital movie platform announced in a tweet that “Bird Box” set a new record.

Netflix wrote: “Took off my blindfold this morning to discover that 45,037,125 Netflix accounts have already watched Bird Box – best first 7 days ever for a Netflix film!”

In 2018, dangerous social media “challenges” were commonplace.

That year saw the rise of many internet crazes like the Kiki challenge, where participants jumped out of moving vehicles to dance while playing a song by the rapper Drake, and the Tide Pod challenge where teens were popping the detergent scent boosters into their mouths and biting down on the gooey soap packets. And, by the way, please, don’t try this at home.

Dalvin Brown, USA Today
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