A new browser platform will allow long distance friends the chance to binge-watch the shows they love on Netflix together.
I remember when I was about 11 years old I’d stay with my grandmother during summer days while my parents worked. There were no kids around my age in her neighborhood, so it was pretty much playing alone in her backyard or watching TV inside.
A friend of mine who lived across the street from my parents’ home would call me at my grandmother’s house a couple of days a week and we’d talk while we were watching the same TV show. We’d have a running commentary on whatever we were watching — and at this distance, I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of shows it might have been.
In any case, we’d chat for a bit, then watch for a bit. Then we’d chat for a bit. Then watch.
Sometimes, there’d be a good minute of silence on the phone while we watched whatever it was, then we’d both pick up where we left off in the conversation or continue our scene-by-scene review of the program.
That was the early 1980s.
Now, we could do a similar thing online with a web-browser extension. TechCrunch reports Netflix Party, a chrome extension, lets viewers sync their Netflix viewing session across time and space and adds a group chat sidebar.
A real-time conversation while your Netflix programs are locked together.
I guess this is something to be excited about if you’re trying to watch a Netflix-only series. But it still seems strange — and maybe this is just me — that you’d want to spend your time typing into a chat window and reading responses during a television show you’re actually trying to watch.
Don’t get me wrong: like most people, I’m watching TV while I have the laptop or tablet in front of me. The days of eyes being glued to the television screen solely are pretty much gone.
But if you’re going to spend time with your friends over a TV show, even if a web browser can sync your viewing experience, is an online chat the best way to do it?
I’d rather take a few steps back to the early 80s! If I’m going to watch a show “with” someone even though they aren’t in the same room, it seems to me a phone call would just be so much easier all the way around!