Netflix Has Completely Changed My Personality, And I'm Not That Chill

It’s a big question: is binge-viewing playing a part in who we have become as people?

Move aside parents, move aside world leaders, move aside people of influence -- what if the way our personalities are shaped is now merely by a Netflix obsession?

It has been readily documented that Netflix has changed the way we consume content and relax at home. The phenomenon of "Netflix and chill" changed the dating game for me years ago when I found more and more men were suggesting "Netflix and chill" as date options rather than... well, to eat and get to know each other.

To be honest, there's every chance Netflix is aware of just how influential it is.

Guy Pearce was told the term "binge"  was something he must stay clear of when doing a press junket to promote a series late last year.

“I don't think Netflix likes the term ‘binge'," he said during an Empire magazine podcast. “When we did the promotion for [The Innocents] in the [United States], we were strictly sort of instructed beforehand not to talk about binge watching.”

Hmmmmmm. What does Netflix know that we don’t?

There has been much discussion about Netflix being a change leader in terms of our behaviour when consuming content, but there hasn’t been much exploration behind the idea that Netflix could also be changing our personalities.

Where is the proof, you ask?

Me! I am proof! It has changed mine!

I have become obsessed with a Netflix series that is not only a surprise but at complete odds with the woman I understood I was.

I grew up with your basic interest level in the AFL -- growing up in Melbourne it's expected -- but I wouldn’t exactly call myself interested in “sports”. It was only last week that I ducked for cover behind a park bench when a trail of motorbikes aggressively sped past me on my morning walk.

They are aggressive and frightening, and I stand by that.

I like to do yoga and meditate. I like Instagram. I enjoy food and art. I watch RuPaul's Drag Race and reruns of Sex and the City.

So if I told you that a few weekends ago I was parked up on my couch to watch the qualifying race for the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix, would you believe me? Because you can bet your bottom dollar I was.

If only my Dad would believe me -- finally I’d be the chosen child.

As soon as I watched the first episode of  Formula One: Drive to Survive I was hooked. And not in a way where I went to bed and woke up as my normal self.

I became obsessed with everything Formula One.

It's the drama of the teams competing against themselves, the pretentious attitudes of the affluent car companies and their managers, the psychology behind the drivers who take part -- drivers who are essentially doing an extreme sport for a living, warming up their necks to deal with the resistance of driving a machine 300 km an hour. Who the heck warms up their neck?!

Image: Getty

But it was the moment that I spotted Ginger Spice in episode 3 of the Netflix series that I was officially in. My Google searches started to intensify from “Daniel Riccardo’s parents' names” to “Formula One season 2019”. When I started looking up flights to Singapore in September to watch the night-time race, I knew I was changed forever.

It might be a similar story for the people who are hooked on Making a Murderer or Dear John and find themselves googling the craziest things:

“Criminology degree -- how long”.

“Is John from Dear John alive?”

I empathise. 

And just like that, I found myself a few weeks ago on that couch, on a Sunday afternoon with a glass of my finest red, cancelling brunch plans with the girls to sit down and watch Aussie Daniel Riccardo run seventh at his new team in the Chinese Grand Prix.

Image: Getty

How did this happen?

I know I am not alone. But what I am scared to think about is what will Netflix potentially hook me into next?

Feature image: Getty