Young adults and teens across the United States are sending out that Friday night text to their crush asking to “Netflix and Chill.”
The term Netflix and Chill might seem to be exactly what it suggests to their elders, such as watching a movie or television series on the nation’s top media streaming companies. But what does Netflix and Chilling really consist of in this generation of eggplant emojis, selfies and dating apps?
Netflix has been around since 1997, according to BuzzFeed, and is worth an estimated $20 billion, available in almost 50 different countries made up of 57.4 million subscribers, each streaming at an average of 90 minutes per day.
But as time goes on, new trends arise and along with these new trends are new ways of dating. The traditional way of hooking up and hook-up culture itself has been drastically changed through the years. Taking someone out on a date to dinner and a movie is something few couples do and is typically done amongst individuals in committed relationships.
Keene State College senior Gabrielle Parilla said in today’s society, we generally just expect less out of dates. Parilla explained, “Whether you meet a guy online or at a party, if the two of you are going to hangout, I personally wouldn’t expect going on a date first. You usually just go to each other houses and at that point, it’s your choice to decide what’s going to happen next, like if you guys are going to hook up or whatnot.”
Now sending a text or “sliding into the DMs (Direct Messages)” of somebody you find attractive, asking to Netflix and Chill has nothing to do with watching movies at all. In fact, the Netflix part is just background noise for what is really going on. Instead, the saying has become a widely accepted term for hooking up or having sex.
Netflix and Chill jokes or “memes” can be found all over the internet, especially on social media, like a photo with the caption, “20 minutes into Netflix and Chill and he gives you that look,” or a picture of a condom with the Netflix logo on it.
Netflix and Chill has been such a widely used term, it even became a Halloween costume seen especially around college campuses in 2016, where one person wears something red with the words “Netflix” on it and another wears a white or blue shirt with “Chill” on it, which can actually be purchased on several different stores online.
Musicians have even made songs about the slang, most containing extremely explicit lyrics. Of these songs is hit hip-hop artist B.o.B, whose song “Netflix and Chill” includes the lyrics, “I was thinkin’ Netflix and Chill, Netflix and Chill, I wake up and eat it up that’s a bed and breakfast for real.”
The Netflix and Chilling craze is no mystery to students at Keene State College and they aren’t strangers to the act.
KSC junior Michael Zarrilli said Netflix itself is a trend amongst college students because it is a cheaper option than cable that offers a wide variety of things to watch. In this sense, instead of flipping through channels, Netflix provides a program that you and whoever you are hanging out with can both agree on. Zarrilli added that if a girl ever asked him to Netflix and Chill, he would assume that the end result of the date would be hooking up. “Asking someone to Netflix and Chill is an easier way to ask someone to hook up instead of flat out saying, ‘Hey come over so that we can hook up,’” Zarrilli said.
KSC senior Sam Hovey said, “When someone says let’s Netflix and Chill, they definitely are trying to say they want to bang.” Netflix subscriber Hovey explained he believes that our society has adopted this norm of hooking up with ease because of the idea that anyone can throw a movie on Netflix, get cuddled up into bed and leave the rest to history. “It’s just so laid back now,” Hovey added.
Have you ever heard of a booty call? Well Urban Dictionary relates Netflix and Chilling as the perfect low-key way of doing just that. The crowdsourced slang word dictionary defines the act as, “A subtle way to lure a girl to come over to your place, initially as just a ‘friend,’ so that it can lead to an opportunity of getting intimate with her while something is playing on Netflix.”
Alexandra Enayat can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org