As we all watch Netflix, it watches us too.
The streaming service records detailed analytics of our viewing habits which is either creepy or awesome depending on your point of view.
On the one hand, Netflix’s snooping could result in a better customer experience, but on the other, do you really want them knowing how many times you watched Sharknado?
But, at least in one case, Netflix appears to have genuinely had a viewer’s best interests at heart.
Reddit user u/King-Salamander shared an anecdote from one summer when they were suffering from a bout of depression.
King-Salamander was out of work and waiting for college to start, so they did some epic binge-watching.
“I ended up doing nothing but watching Netflix, and after I finished The Office in something like 5 – 10 days, I don’t quite remember, I received an email from Netflix asking if I was okay,” King-Salamander wrote.
“They had noticed that I had my account running non-stop for over a week and they wanted to check on me and make sure I was doing well since my viewing activities became so much more frequent than they used to be.
“Honestly made me feel better just knowing that someone, even a stranger working at a customer support agency, cared about my mental health.”
After some users questioned the post’s integrity, King-Salamander swore they weren’t a Netflix shill. We can’t always (ever?) trust things we read on the internet, but if this is true: kudos to you Netflix.
The anecdote arose following a discussion on Twitter about Netflix’s recent move to call out people who had been watching the apparently dreadful A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days.
To the 53 people who've watched A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?
— Netflix US (@netflix) December 11, 2017
That's pretty creepy @netflix. Is it in your Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy that you will collect and analyze viewing habits so that you can mock people via social media? Asking for a friend. #fb
— Andrew Strutt (@andrew_strutt) December 11, 2017
— Grant Hamilton (@Gramiq) December 11, 2017
With many accusing Netflix of Big Brother-type antics, a spokesperson from Netflix told Indy100 that we all need to, uh, chill.
“The privacy of our members’ viewing is important to us,” the sposkesperson said. “This information represents overall viewing trends, not the personal viewing information of specific, identified individuals.”
So don’t worry, people. The dirty little secret of your viewing habits are probably safe. Now let’s all enjoy some quality content.