Netflix Party: A better way to social distance

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Image by Leah Boone

Leah Boone, Opinions Editor

We have barely made a dent in “distance learning” and “social distancing,” and I, as well as many people, have already begun to lose my mind. COVID-19, more commonly known as just “coronavirus”, has thrown a wrench in everyone’s day-to-day lives. Colleges and universities nationwide have been shut down for the rest of the semester and many other K-12 schools are off for a minimum of two weeks.

As coronavirus cases surge throughout the world, immense precautions are being taken by schools, restaurants and other businesses to limit social gatherings of large groups of people. Stopping the spread of the virus is a major part of diminishing the pandemic. 

Because of these precautions, many people are stuck at home and, if they are anything like me, are extremely bored. Schoolwork does not last all day, and when you have no more work to do, time seems to drag.

In the last few days of online learning and social distancing, Netflix has been my best friend. At some points, it has felt like the only thing keeping me sane while stuck inside my house without my friends.

Thankfully, the Netflix company predicted people nationwide would be having this problem and created the simple, yet effective, Netflix Party. With a quick download onto a Chrome browser, you and your friends can live chat while watching a show of your choice. 

If you Google search “netflixparty.com,” a website opens with a tab that says “Install Netflix Party.” After you click this, you can send a link to your friends and start a party. Whoever started the party can choose if they are the only one who can control it, meaning the only one who can play or pause the video. 

One night, I started a party and watched a couple of episodes of “Love is Blind” with a few of my friends. “Love is Blind” is a Netflix original reality TV show about couples who get engaged without seeing each other beforehand. 

With the live chat on the right side of the screen while the show played, I was able to communicate with my friends about every aspect of the show while still watching. It was very fun to see how they reacted to the different events occurring in the show, especially because of the drama in “Love is Blind.”

We could discuss the drama between the different couples, who we believed would end up together and who our favorites were. Having this contact while watching reality shows is much more entertaining than watching them alone. 

“I liked how I could talk to my friends about what was going on just like we were all together,” said junior Caroline Bullard. “It made social distancing feel a whole lot less distant.”

The coronavirus is an unprecedented event in many people’s lives and I, for one, could use something to help ease the anxiety about the whole situation. Netflix Party is a way to talk to your friends almost as if you are watching it right next to them. It was extremely refreshing and I highly recommend it to anyone missing their friends.