The new Netflix thriller ‘Bird Box’ has had thousands of people glued to their screens across North America since its release in December
The movie follows a family trying to escape from a mysterious entity that causes people to go insane and kill themselves if they see it. The main characters spend most of the movie blindfolded.
READ MORE: Sandra Bullock Talks ‘Bird Box’
Now, it’s the ensuing internet challenge that has people in a craze.
The Bird Box challenge shows people trying to pull off different stunts while blindfolded- often in public and dangerous situations.
It’s prompted Netflix to put out a message urging people not to hurt themselves.
Members of the blind and partially sighted community are also frustrated by the trend.
“In a lot of the videos, when you watch them at the end, they’re saying ‘you can’t do this. You can’t do this blind. I couldn’t cook, I couldn’t text my friend, I couldn’t cross the street,” Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) Saskatchewan’s Ashley Nemeth said. “The reality is you can do it- but you have to do it differently.”
While Nemeth has a lot of praise for the movie itself, she feels the challenge trivializes the independence of visually impaired people and years of hard work it takes to build those skills.
“It’s not like you lose your vision and tomorrow you’re sending off text messages and putting on mascara and crossing the street,” she added. “If I come up to a light, I have to stand there for a couple of minutes sometimes and listen to the cycle of the traffic to figure out where in the cycle it is. I need to figure out if there’s left turning traffic or right turning traffic. There’s a lot that goes into it.”
CNIB Saskatchewan is asking that people don’t take part in the challenge, but instead use this as an opportunity to learn more about the visually impaired.