My Thoughts On Bird Box Challenges and Why They’re Not Worth It

 

My Thoughts On the Bird Box Movie

The Bird Box film,   along with the many challenges following it have been quite a hot topic among the blindness community. If you’re not a member of the blindness community then you are probably familiar with these challenges from the internet. While I think it’s great that this movie is getting people talking about blindness, I think it reinforces typical stereotypes sighted people have about those of us who cannot see. The positive thing here is that even if we are begging those with sight to not participate in Bird Box challenges, we’re still having a conversation about blindness. This movie gives us a chance to show people what blindness truly looks like.

 

In a world where the smallest glimpse of creatures causes insanity, one can easily understand why characters don’t want to see. The plot follows the protagonist, a mother of two children, as they survive their world blindfolded. In order to get to safety, the small family has to cross a rough river filled with lots of temptation to get them to take off their blindfolds. As I mentioned above, I feel as though this movie supports typical stereotypes sighted people have surrounding blindness. An example of this is when the protagonist and her housemates run out of food. One character immediately panics and wonders how they are going to survive without food in the house when they cannot see. This part of the film reminded me of how people view blindness as this terrible thing when that’s far from reality. People losing their sight often think life is over once their vision is gone. Why would we ever want people feeling or thinking that way? I feel like this scene does a good job at making those without sight appear as though they can’t think on their feet. The characters ended up getting food by driving with GPS while they were blindfolded. It may have been difficult, but they could have walked and gotten themselves to where they needed to be.

 

I personally am not a huge fan of this movie, but I like a few points. The mother teaches her kids to rely on their hearing which is important for knowing what’s around you, even in real life. I noticed they would feel the ground and ring bells to find one another. I think they did a good job with this because blind people are always feeling what’s around them. If a blind person cannot find something, sometimes a person may tap the object until they find it. Finally, I liked how the movie showed the characters interacting with blind and visually impaired people. This is great because it shows that blind people are perfectly capable of interacting with sighted people. This may seem obvious to many of us, but sadly not to everyone, so it’s good we’re having this discussion.

 

The Negative impact of Bird Box Challenges

There’s been quite a bit of discussion surrounding Bird Box challenges, and for good reason. They are dangerous and people have been hurting themselves as a result of their poor choices. I’ve read online recently how people have been crossing streets, lighting candles and someone even crashed their car. All of these things were done blindfolded. Doing tasks blindfolded is not the same as doing them as a blind person. Blind people can cross streets, care for themselves and do lots of everyday tasks. The difference here is it takes lots of training for us to learn these things. Sure, we can’t drive, but we have ways around that too. Case in point: On behalf of blind people everywhere, please, do not participate in Bird Box challenges. If you really want to know what not seeing is like, please ask one of us. Many blind people don’t mind answering your questions and if you keep reading you can find some ways to learn more about blindness.

 

Positive Challenges You Can Participate in

If you really want to challenge yourself, start by going out of your comfort zone and try talking to a blind person. You never know, you might make a new friend in the process! A study by Perkins School for the Blind found that Americans are quite uncomfortable around people who are blind. Read the article here.

 

https://www.perkins.org/stories/media/press-releases/study-more-than-half-of-all-americans-are-not-comfortable-around-person?fbclid=IwAR1f7XnjSwUZvwE6hHQr6FvBfrb3xnqfhJ90M3Gcm7tn3911cL9eEFX-JsU

It may be different for you, but we all can benefit from good company and inclusion.

 

Lots of blind people like myself blog about their experiences. There are quite a few bloggers out there! I would suggest following my blog, Ashley over at

https://mobile.facebook.com/shortshadyblog/?refid=17&_ft_=mf_story_key.543630232793400%3Atop_level_post_id.543630232793400%3Atl_objid.543630232793400%3Acontent_owner_id_new.100014392837422%3Athrowback_story_fbid.543630232793400%3Astory_location.4%3Astory_attachment_style.avatar%3Athid.100014392837422%3A306061129499414%3A2%3A0%3A1549007999%3A5815603790657890608&__tn__=H-R

and I would also check out Holly on

https://lifeofablindgirl.com/

 

Those are just a few but like I said there are plenty of blogs you can check out. Everyone connects with someone different, so whether it’s me or another blogger you learn from, what matters here is that we break the negative stereotypes surrounding blindness.

 

Another really awesome challenge you can consider participating in is the blindfold challenge 5K race. For more information, you can check out

https://blindfoldchallenge.org/

 

 

Now that’s a challenge that seems worth it to me! And hopefully to you, too.

 

I would consider learning VoiceOver if you have an IPhone or other Apple product. Look into volunteering at a school or organization for the blind. I know my high school is always looking for volunteers! Check out this Perkins link to learn more.

https://www.perkins.org/get-involved/volunteer/perkins-volunteer-application

 

 

Lastly, I would consider looking into learning about resources like Aira, Bookshare and Learning Ally. You can find information about all three mentioned here in the below links.

 

https://aira.io/careers

https://www.bookshare.org/cms/

https://learningally.org/

 

Those are a few ways you can learn about blindness. Check out Holly’s great post about Bird Box by giving the following link a read.

https://lifeofablindgirl.com/2019/01/09/what-do-blind-and-visually-impaired-people-think-about-the-bird-box-challenge/

(Thanks for the kind mention by the way!) And give Ashley’s awesome post about the movie on Blind New World a read.

http://blindnewworld.org/blog/dont-be-the-bird-in-the-box/?fbclid=IwAR2L4xqTmvHdgEZqtZCi8b5XeJeOo-fp6m68aJ7U9ttPzlBZU9YTt7y_vNI

Thanks for reading today’s post. Have you watched Bird Box? Let me know your thoughts by leaving me a comment. I’d love to hear from you. Do you know a blind person? If you are also blind like me and have anything you’d like to add to this conversation, please reach out to me.

My best to you all. Miranda ❤

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