There's a lot to be said about the interactivity when it comes to television and streaming shows of late. There's the online map of the territory that's available to Game of Thrones fans wanting a geographical perspective on the action. Or the massive Easter eggs available on the latest rollout of the Netflix series Black Mirror for those who ventured beyond the streaming of the tech-horror series.
But when social media wags encouraged viewers to take part in a potentially hazardous activity after the latest Netflix movie Bird Box started streaming, that's when the content streamer had to run interference. The kerfuffle has to do with a barrage of memes on social media that have been encouraging fans to get into the essence of the movie by donning blindfolds for an umpteenth number of hours. Some celebs including YouTube magnate Morgan Adams have had their eyes covered for 24 hours.
And while Netflix is no doubt grateful for the publicity, its social media squad has taken to Twitter urging fans to exercise the greatest amount of caution possible. Evidently, nothing can harm a rising target market more than mounting casualties following a social media-triggered fad.
“Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE,” declared Netflix on Twitter. “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.”
However, while it's all well and good when it comes to adults taking part in the activity, presumably because they know better, those with younger children might want to think twice. It's tough enough to clothe, feed and change a newborn eyes wide open as it is. Doing the motherly thing blindfolded is at best foolish and at worst extremely dangerous.
Ditto for tykes entering toddlerhood and trying out those fresh legs while blindfolded. As any veteran mom knows, that mobile rite of passage has its own risks from cuts and bruises to scrapes and bumps, even without that tendency to take part in that Bird Box fad.
Netflix may have been blindsided by the presence of the memes, which no doubt helped the movie starring Sandra Bullock and John Malcovic reach more than 45 million subscribers, an all-time high for the company. But obviously, despite the help from the overzealous taking part in the challenge, there isn't much the company can do.
Our advice? Just skip this trend and leave the blindfolds to the pros.