The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

Netflix and…no, seriously, chill

How pop culture ruined one of my favorite pastimes
Rachel Jackson
Senior Riley Laurence likes Netflix. He also likes to chill. Now, due to pop culture slang, he is unable to express how he truly feels due to the innuendos around “Netflix and chill.”

It seriously astounds me how consistently pop culture can turn something normal into a joke or a euphemism for something inappropriate. This phenomenon has existed since the birth of social media, a prime example being the “basic white girl” joke. However, while I am sure that Starbucks has experienced a decline in the number of Caramel Frappuccinos ordered and UGG boot purchases have reached an all-time low due to the shaming of people, especially young women, for buying these products, I believe that a more pressing issue is the “Netflix and chill” movement that has been enveloping the nation’s youth and making me look like a pervert for the past few months.

I am low-maintenance. I am one of those friends that is down to just do whatever everyone else wants to do for the sake of avoiding conflict. I am the type of person that wants to just be alone, watch Netflix, and chill. Just a few months ago, someone reading that last sentence would understand that I am just the kind of person that likes to be alone, relax, and take advantage of the thousands of TV shows I have at my fingertips with my Netflix subscription. One might say I like to Netflix and chill.

Now, however, I am 100 percent certain that every last person reading this that is under the age of 20 picked up on the phrase “Netflix and chill,” and some people over 20 probably noticed as well. Months ago, being invited to “Netflix and chill” with someone would entail exactly what is being said. That person would like to watch Netflix and hang out with you. On the contrary, the same phrase is used in today’s pop culture as a euphemism for hooking up with someone.

In this modern usage, it is questionable as to whether or not the person inviting the other even has a Netflix subscription, but the literal meaning of the person asking to “chill” is understating what is implied by the modern definition. This current usage assumes that a whole lot more than “chilling” will be taking place, and that assumption is what has been bothering me from the start of this movement.

I think what bothers me most about the modern interpretation of the phrase is the fact that if I were to ask a friend to “Netflix and chill,” I would be asking if they wanted to do exactly what the wording means.

No sexual innuendos. No smirking-face emoji. No meaning implied behind the phrase.

I would be asking if that person would like to come over, watch Netflix, and chill.

If I even dared to ask someone to “Netflix and chill” now, I would be ridiculed by the people around me for asking something so forward and inappropriate, and then my offer would probably be misinterpreted unless that person was sensible enough to know that I was not suggesting anything more.

Another thing that bothers me about “Netflix and chill,” aside from the social consequences, is how much I enjoy partaking in the literal meaning of the phrase. How else would I have been able to catch up on shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Law and Order: SVU, shows that I did not start watching until well after they began? How would I have been able to hear Ted Mosby’s stories behind how he met his children’s mother, or experience the trials and tribulations of Ross, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, Joey, and Rachel as they try to find themselves while living in New York City? Netflix makes all of this possible for me, and as stressed out as we high schoolers are, finding time to chill is nothing but beneficial to my elevated blood pressure.

I love Netflix, I love to chill, and I hate that another good thing in my life has become the punchline of a joke that is making me look like a pig.

And so what if I like Caramel Frappuccinos? They taste good and they make me feel like I am drinking coffee even though I am just setting myself up for health problems and an upset stomach.

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About the Contributors
Riley Laurence
Riley Laurence, Opinion Editor
The rumors are true; Riley Laurence has agreed to give The Red Ledger one last shot. Entering his third consecutive year, Riley is still avoiding social interaction at all costs and drinking an unhealthy amount of Dr. Pepper every day. Riley is a Certified Sno Technician at Bahama Bucks and will not hesitate to go to Chick-fil-a at any given opportunity. He knows every Spongebob episode forwards and backwards and no matter how many people try and stop him, he is probably going to re-watch How I Met Your Mother at least twice before graduation.  Despite his attendance history, he has just set a new personal record (5 days) for "Most Days Consecutively Attending School" and is awaiting his honorary plaque. The left side of Riley's bottom lip is paralyzed due to a tragic accident involving a cartwheel, an emergency room, and a permanently damaged facial nerve. He is currently enrolled in online aerobics and will be joining the bowling team because he put off taking an athletic credit until his senior year. All-in-all, Riley is pretty psyched to start his last year of high school as a member of the talented The Red Ledger staff. You can follow Riley on Twitter at @rileylaurence.
Rachel Jackson
Rachel Jackson, Staff Reporter
Going on her second year of newspaper, Rachel is still a little bit confused on what she actually does here. Originally partaking in a journalism course purely for the technology credit, she’s decided to return for her senior year in order to bring her fellow classmates news on the Lovejoy campus. When she’s not feverishly typing away in the Newspaper room, you can find her running back and forth between the choir and theater room, attempting to juggle all of her extracurricular activities. She does not want you to get the wrong idea though. Even though she enjoys being involved in any and every activity brought to her attention, Rachel likes to consider herself as, overall, a pretty “chill” person. Passionate conversations over inconsequential music artists, comparing coffee shops, sarcastic banter, and a good night’s rest are just a few things Rachel tends to prioritize in life.

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