Remember the good old days when you had to scan the TV Guide Channel to find a show worth watching? If you weren't available to watch the episode when it played, you would have to wait until the reruns began. How could you even fathom having to wait until NEXT week to find out what happened on your favorite show?
Well, my friends, those days are long past us thanks to streaming apps such as Netflix. If you are a breathing human being with a pulse, you've likely been guilty of binging on Netflix and enjoying every minute of it. You can view your favorite show in the comfort of your own home, eat as many pieces of pizzas as you want, and you can literally watch as many episodes as you want.
Trust us, in the battle of "the thrill of waiting for the next episode" versus "instant convenience", convenience is the notorious winner.
PLOT TWIST: Netflix is watching you right back.
In December 2017, the company sent out a tweet that poked fun at over 50 people who decided they wanted to watch the movie A Christmas Prince every single day for 18 days. Understandably, the tweet sparked quite a bit of conversation in the Twitter world.
Although there were some hurt feelings, a lot of people found the tweet to be humorous and rather educational. People literally were going crazy that Netflix had these kinds of stats in their hands. Others really got a kick out of Netflix serving sarcasm and snark to their users on a silver platter.
However, for as much positive feedback they were getting, there was an equal amount of criticism from Twitter users as well. Some people found it offensive that Netflix was making fun of their customers' interest in entertainment and some people found it to be a problem that Netflix monitors them this closely in the first place.
One Reddit user. named King-Salamander, noted that he had a specific experience that proved to him that Netflix was constantly paying attention to what he was viewing. Why? Because he had viewed a LARGE amount of the show The Office in a very short amount of time. Over one summer, he was dealing with a bout of depression, was on a break from school, and not employed so he spent a great deal of time binging his favorite show on Netflix.
King-Salamander began his binge of the show and literally finished the ENTIRE show within 5-10 days. The show has 188 episodes which, in turn, means that he watched over 90 hours of the show in that time period.
As you know, once you watch a few episodes of the same show on Netflix with no interruption, Netflix displays a message on the screen asking "are you still there?". They do this to check in with you and make sure that you didn't fall asleep and miss huge parts of your favorite show. Pretty nice of them, right?
However, King-Salamander shares that he got a little bit more than the typical message. After his binge was complete, Netflix got ahold of him and check on his well-being due to the fact his account had been non-stop running for a little over a week. He noted, "They had noticed that I had my account running non-stop for over a week and they wanted to check on me and make sure I was doing well since my viewing activities became so much more frequent than they used to be."
After carefully considering both sides of this argument, one could pose the question of whether or not Netflix's outreach was necessary. According to King-Salamander, it was completely acceptable and even appreciated. He went on to explain that the message really helped him to get through his depression and the difficulties it caused in his life. "Honestly made me feel better just knowing that someone, even a stranger working at a customer support agency, cared about my mental health,". In this situation, it paid off to have a Netflix account in more than one way.
King-Salamander has been doing much better with his depression and managing it. "I'll always suffer from depression, as it's a mental illness, but I've learned that it's not about trying to defeat the monster it's about learning how to live with it.", he said.
Over time, people began to question whether or not the story was true or if he was just a spokesperson for Netflix in disguise. He went on to explain that he works as a barista and would be making a lot more money if he was, in fact, employed by Netflix. He joked, "If anyone from Netflix wanted to hire me, send me a message. I graduate in a year."