Netflix and Chill

Truth - Sometimes I seriously worry for my generation. Every generation certainly innovates in distinct ways but also not only inherits the problems of their predecessors but contributes/creates new ones as well. Mine seems to be known for our apparent willingness to recognize the humanity of others and push for progressive ideals (debatable but that's a challenge for another day). We're also known for having defiled all the sacred traditions of the courting process in favor of swipes, sliding, double taps, and emojis. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie? No, we Netflix and chill. 
"The problem with binge-watching on Netflix is that you lose three days of your life"
Harland Williams

You know you've made it in this world when your company name becomes a verb. Netflix - v. - to endlessly browse for a movie, show, or documentary to watch on a device, usually accompanied by some kind of junk food.  I.E. It was 3AM and he still decided it was a good idea to continue to Netflix season 4 of "Charmed." Netflix has been definitively leading the way in changing the way people consume their media. With their promise of on demand engaging content 24/7 their (limited) variety of programming and signature critically acclaimed programs, watching well anything is a few clicks away at any point in time. Browse any form of social media past midnight and you'll see the idle ramblings of people turning to Netlix to occupy their time. It routinely trends, especially when new shows are released. With it has come the mass consumption watching process known as binge watching and some seriously desperate antics when it comes to acquiring someone's login credentials. Neflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Apple TV and all the rest let people get what they want whenever they want, whenever they want it. Therein lies the problem when people apply that same expectation to other people.
 Netflix and chill.
Netflix and chill really has the implication of coming over to hook up (whether that be just making out, trading oral favors, or having sex). It's still up in the air as to the necessity of having Netflix on in the background. My generation apparently doesn't do slow jams to get it on to but what would it be anyway - T-Pain, EDM, or Taylor Swift? I really wonder what people put on that gets them in the mood - Supersize Me, the Magic School Bus, Friends? Now I have so many questions, do people finish their program or they just leave it unfinished, are there snacks present, is this a couch endeavor or is the bathroom socially acceptable too? I'm kidding of course but what this makes me think of is the people who feel entitled to other people because they were respectful to them.
The people who complain of the mythical friend-zone where because someone is not interested in your romantically they're relegated to an abyss of complacent irrelevance with a heaping helping of platonic friendship (oh dear). Desire has to be a mutual thing. You can find someone attractive all you want but if they don't want you back, that's the end of it - it's that simple. The friendzone does not exist. If you cannot be friends with someone you have feelings for that's a you problem and it's up to you to be upfront with them before inklings of being led on come about. If a person matters so much to you, then being friends with them should be more important than losing them forever because you can't be with them. Netflix and chill can be exactly just that, you never have to do something you're not comfortable with. Consent is sex - it's not  sex without it.

In all seriousness I'm not opposed to the use of apps to meet new people. If you're on Tinder (I am), Ok Cupid, Christian Mingle, Grindr, and what have you, that's your prerogative. The problem comes though when you don't represent yourself accurately. I'm aware that people filter/edit their pictures, present their best selves, and can be whoever they want online but if you're actually trying to meet people, it's facetious. I also find it interesting when people spend so much time chatting you up but have no intention of connecting in person. That's our generation's biggest critique, that we're unable to hold meaningful conversations, socialize properly, or really engage with the world without a device in front of us. Yeah, social media keeps us up to date and can find us people to match with but if we cannot actually make it real, what's the point? 

I'm not one to say we should go back to the olden days of being set up on dates, staking out bars meeting strangers, or falling for classmates. Nobody needs the restrictions of patriarchal gender roles & sexism, anti-miscegenation, homophobia. There was and still is merit no heart to it though. People can go on dates if they want. Sightseeing, bowling, BBQ on a beach, or reading in a park - whatever it is just so long as you get to fully be present with who you're with. No distractions, no electronics, no interruptions - just looking another person in the eyes and having a conversation - is that too much to ask? I just want to meet someone - how it happens is unimportant - and feel really drawn to them. Being able to swipe left, unmatch, unlike, and text our way out of meeting people is both a great power but also a dangerous ability. Sure escape from less than ideal arrangements but sometimes we don't even give people the chance to be themselves before we already decide that they're not going to be good/right for us. A picture is worth a thousands words but pictures can only tell one angle of an incomplete story. Give people a chance to be their real selves and appreciate them for who they are. If you're incompatible that's fine because you can never have enough friends who are down to Netflix and chill.

Netflix Picks: Melissa & Joey, Scrotal Recall, Don't Trust the B* in Apt. 23, the Crazy Ones
One thing I cannot get behind is the game playing when it comes to people. Either you like someone or do not. Either you want to be with them or don't. Either you all in or all out. I understand the flirting with the emojis, the stupidity of waiting three days to text people back, and having to know how show affection subtly (instagram likes, snapchat replies, and favorite tweets) but it's kind of ridiculous at the same time. Why can't I just tell you I like you and go from there? Why do you have to decipher all that I do? We made communication exponentially easier and yet we need decoder rings to translate all we do. Something doesn't quite add up there. Let's be clear about what we are looking for. Committed or casual, exclusive or open, friends or friends with benefits - take your pick. Screw the slut-shaming; if sex is your thing have as much as you want (or none at all) - that's your personal choice. No one gets to judge you on it. Netflix and chill or nah. X

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