General

Netflix Addiction

About my experience with Netflix

Created on
Day
23/100
Reading Time
4 mins
Word Count
740 approx.

I love watching movies at home. Sometimes, I just want to be laid-back and chill. To be with myself and enjoy a stress-free moment undisturbed. I think I deserve that. Netflix might be the answer, and I’m probably got myself addicted to them.

I’ve been subscribed to Netflix since late 2017. There wasn’t enough content back then and I watched mostly movies from the U.S.. I tried to quit watching and unsubscribed maybe two times over the years but I resubscribed to them after a month or so. I got a habit of re-watching movies/shows.

My choices of picking what to watch are very “unusual”. For most of the shows or films suggested by the algorithms, I didn’t bother myself to even look into them at all. The Netflix app will suggest content based on the popularity in the area I’m living in. The homepage is filled with Korean TV Shows that I don’t like. Interestingly, my taste is not even close to the Global Top 10 either.

I prefer streaming Netflix on a Playstation 4. I’m watching on a Sony TV and it does have Netflix / Youtube baked in by default but I rarely use them. It’s because using a gamepad to navigate the app on a TV is so much easier than using a TV controller. Not to mention if you want to search for titles, you will be annoyed by how hard it could be to perform text input on a TV. However, I’m not using the PS4 controller to search as well.

My current method is using the Netflix app on iPhone. You can search for titles and save them to your watch list. Then pick that up on PS4 later. I will never watch anything on a phone because the screen is just too small. There are region-exclusive films or shows that are not available in my area. But I’m not entirely sure why some content are visible on iPhone app but not on PS4.

The experience of streaming is quite seamless. If you pause a show and you’re able to pick up where you left off on any devices. Occasionally, if the user didn’t continue watching after a while, they will then send you an email about the show and display a progress bar indicating where you’ve left off. Just tap the image you’ll be redirected to the Netflix app and start playing maybe 10 seconds rewound where you were at. They’ll also email suggestions of shows/movies to watch curated for you based on your watch history.

Also, I can tell you the Netflix algorithm is a bit scary. They will track everything you did, maybe cross apps, or even cross platforms. For instance, I once searched for a movie title such as Children of Men, it’s not available at the time. But maybe a few months later, the film will appear on your homepage if they have it now. It happens every single time. You search for something, even if you didn’t watch them, they’ll suggest to you. Your search history, watch history and ratings becomes part of their big data.

My point is, all that tracking, or algorithms they did is part of the services they provided. You subscribed to them, and they assumes that they’ve your consent. In my opinion, the Netflix experience they tailored is not even close to my taste at all. It can be improved by letting users “filter out” content they don’t like.

Yes, you’re being tracked. Is that even an issue at all? Since you have the freedom to unsubscribe from them at anytime. You pay for big corporations because of entertainment, fair enough. But you also hand over your personal data willingly and knowingly at the same time. You pay them to track you, to study you, and analyze your behaviors. If you want to enjoy their services, you gotta “give in”. At the very least, people won’t care, or bother themselves to even think about the so-called privacy everyone deserved.

Stop using big tech you say? Stand against big corps? Well, in your dreams.

Maybe in an alternate universe, I’ll join the Project Mayhem to rock the government like Tyler Durden in Fight Club. Some part of my inner-self wants to pretend I’m Johnny Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077 who nukes Arasaka building. I also want to be part of Avalanche, to fight against 神羅(Shinra) in Final Fantasy VII.

In reality, I’m a sheep led by capitalism. Just like everyone else.

I ordered some pizza and watch Netflix tonight. See you next time.

This is #Day23 of #100DaysToOffload.

Footnotes

  1. The subscription fee is HKD$78/mo. To give you an idea, that’s approximately USD$9.9. The cost is somehow fixed over the years. ↩︎