Quarantine and Chill: How To Use Netflix Party

Social distancing and self-isolating during a global pandemic can get pretty frustrating, stressful, and sometimes boring. We’re all missing our friends, family, and colleagues, and we’re starting to worry about how our lack of social interaction will affect our interpersonal skills. Most of us are probably curled up in the dark binge-watching The Office for the ninth time because there’s nothing else better to do. What if there was a way to watch all your favorite shows and movies with the people you love most, without even leaving your house?

Netflix Party to the rescue! With this free Google Chrome extension, you and your friends can watch anything on Netflix simultaneously from the comfort of your own homes. There’s also a little chat bar on the side that allows you to talk to your loved ones during movie night.

First you have to install the extension to Chrome, and yes, it only works with Google Chrome. If you use Safari, Firefox, or any other web browser, Netflix Party won’t work. Once you add the extension, you’ll see a little ‘NP’ logo placed to the right of the URL at the top of your Chrome browser. Go to Netflix, click on whatever you feel like watching, and then click the ‘NP’ logo to get the party started. A link will appear, which you can copy, paste, and send to your friends, so they can join you. You can have a small viewing party with just two people, or you can invite as many people as you want.

The video is synced up on each of your devices, so you and your buddies don’t need to worry about someone falling behind. If you need to pause the video, go ahead. Everyone else’s video pauses too.

My favorite part of Netflix Party is the group chat feature. I am personally very talkative during movies (sorry to anyone who has ever watched a movie with me). I can’t help but ask questions or make comments about how much I love or hate a character. With the group chat sidebar, you and your friends can have an entire conversation about what you’re watching without interrupting the show. You can predict the end of a psychological thriller, and you can freak out over the major plot twist that is revealed with just 15 minutes remaining. It’s pretty cool, if you ask me.

Netflix Party makes me feel like my closest friends are sitting right beside me, shoveling popcorn into their mouths and whispering about how attractive Rob Lowe is. It gives me a sense of normalcy in a time full of chaos and uncertainty. Instead of spending your time in self-isolation feeling lonely and longing for a friend, you can start a remote party right at your fingertips.