Well congrats, millennials! You all have done it again—turned a seemingly normal and harmless activity into a sexualized slang term with multiple meanings, which can be found on Urban Dictionary or various memes on Instagram. The tagline, “Netflix and Chill” is officially now unavoidable and found on T-shirts, bumper stickers, and most likely buried deep into a private convo if I were to check pretty much anyone’s text messages. The romantic (sarcasm intended) slogan is making a bigger impact than our culture ever could have anticipated.
In a world where how we communicate is more subconscious than ever, messages often get lost in translation. However, unless you live under a rock, or have not yet gotten your upgrade, sexual exchanges are happening at an alarmingly fast pace through dating apps, social media, emails, emojis, and most likely everywhere short of an actual phone call to ask someone on a date. Yet, with our abrupt quest to find a sexual partner, our coming-of-age society still felt it necessary to implement a more aloof code for their booty calls.
Though the concept to subtly lure a potentially wounded zebra over to your place, initially appearing innocent enough to “watch a movie” before attempting an intimate pounce session is nothing new, the cultural effects are becoming controversial and even disruptive to the millennial lifestyle. Plus, look at all the free publicity we are giving Netflix!
Entire industries are noticing a dramatic decline in their consumer base and they are pointing the finger at this current trend. Why go out when you can “Netflix and chill?” Especially during the crisp autumn months when “Netflix and chill” runs rabid (economic-spending on entertainment naturally slows down due to the colder weather). Movies, theaters, restaurants, bars, nightclubs all are suffering from more and more young adults opting for a casual night in where they know they don’t have to work too hard for the hunt. Cozy, warm sweatpants while binge watching TV shows promises easy access to Pride Rock (A Lion King reference for those misguided youths reading).
Think about it—from a social standpoint, these happening hot spots used to be the ideal hub for interacting with peers and prospects, while for decades prior, individuals were all about the organic way of meeting. Technology has removed the need to go out and generate a relationship or conjure up an opportunity for some lovin’ without having to leave behind the comfort of our reasonably priced futons.
Another negative residual of this adaptive idiom is that younger individuals are starting to look at casual sex as less taboo. “Netflix and chill” has become more of a less abrasive, comical, no-strings-attached type of a hook-up. According to reports, all of these anonymous tech-savvy options, which are available to the masses, led to some undesired consequences: A rise in sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
To get a scope of how big this problem is, here are some statistics from the smallest state in the U.S., Rhode Island, from 2013 to 2014:
- The number of infectious syphilis cases increased by 79%.
- The number of gonorrhea cases increased by 30%.
- The number of newly-identified HIV cases increased by nearly 33%.
Perhaps the recently released “Netflix and chill” condoms were developed as a result of this unfavorable data.
Either way, researchers are acknowledging, as well as analyzing, the various possibilities which may stem from this behavioral chain reaction. Who could have ever imagined the simple adventure of “Netflix and chill” would ever be trialed, avoiding a guilty plea for the downfall of economics and sexual responsibility? A little much? You be the judge….
Bottom line. This is an actual thing, much like referring to our friends as our #squad, and I hate it. At this point, thirsty frat boys need to start looking for a new move because thanks to the wave of the Internet, everyone is on to you. Not to mention, sometimes a person is really just in the mood to watch Netflix and do nothing, and for those on the flip side, enough with the douchey innuendos and get to business already. Safely, of course!
If you are going to continue to use this motto and maintain creeper status, the next time you ask someone to “Netflix and chill,” the least you can do is make sure you bring fun snacks. Thanks.
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