The hugely popular Netflix movie "Bird Box" has spawned a viral social media challenge and the company has asked fans not to hurt themselves with the #birdboxchallenge.
Sandra Bullock, along with the rest of the cast, is forced to navigate their world blindfolded in order to protect themselves from a deadly force. Now people are following suit in their daily lives. While no one has died taking part in the challenge, there have been some bumps and bruises.
Netflix tweeted Wednesday about the challenge.
"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."
Psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere of the Touro College of Medicine notes the photo and video challenges – all aimed at getting a laugh – fail to take into account the lives of those who are visually impaired.
"It's not a game," Dr. Gardere said. "It's not a joke. This is real life for other people. It tells me there's a lack of empathy. As a society, it says to me that if we have time to do such silly challenges, then maybe we're not using our time productively enough."
The National Federation of the Blind strongly condemns the Bird Box challenge.
“It is generally a bad idea for people who are not blind to blindfold themselves to try and experience blindness," the organization said in a statement. "They’re going to get the wrong idea about blind people, and what blindness is actually like. When sighted people blindfold themselves, and perform any given task, they usually find it difficult or impossible - which reinforces the stereotype that blind people can’t do anything for themselves.”