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Netflix and Chill: The New Dating Phenomenon

If you haven’t been through it, then you know someone who has. You meet a guy or girl when you’re out with friends, you exchange numbers, and after talking for some time you begin to feel like you guys are hitting it off. Then, one night they texts you and ask if you want to come over and “watch Netflix and chill or something.” Seems innocent enough, right?

Thanks to the power of social media, a new term has been coined that relates to the hook-up culture surrounding college campuses. The phenomenon known as “Netflix and Chill” recently gained rise as a result of twitter memes and was officially added to Urban Dictionary earlier this year. What seems like a casual invitation to relax and watch a movie is nothing more than an indirect way of asking for a hook-up. One night stands and random flings are nothing new to world of college-aged people, but with the rise of technology, and with the new ways that people can stream movies and television shows, “Netflix and chill” is another way that this type of relationship is promoted.

While the phrase itself has become the norm among single millennials, the actions behind it say a lot about our culture and the way we view sex and dating. Many people talk about how they shouldn’t “fall for Netflix and chill,” saying how it is essentially a trap bent on luring college girls into hooking up. However, this implies that girls don’t also seek out causal sex, and that all guys want are hookups. It also makes it out to seem that casual sex among two willing young people is a bad thing.

Calling this generation in particular “The Hook-up Generation” is denying the fact that what young people are doing today is no different than what young people have always done. Twenty-year old people have always been and will always be sex-crazed, despite their gender, sexuality, or what year it is. The only thing that has changed between the generations is the technology, which has only made it more convenient for young people to get together.

Furthermore, the usage of “Netflix and chill” speaks volumes about how the current generation treats dating. People live in fear of rejection for “coming on too strong,” even if they are really into someone. Instead of being honest with themselves and with the other person by saying, “I like you. Do you wanna hang out?” they try to be more discreet about it (Although “Netflix and chill” has become the complete opposite of discreet!) Millenials have a habit of downplaying their emotions so as to no seem emotionally weak. Although coming straight out saying to someone, “I only want to hook up with you” might not be the best pick-up line, it is always important for people to communicate exactly what their intentions are and to keep their partner informed. 

No matter how a person views the phrase, it is doubtless that at some point during college, everyone will be faced with some version of “Netflix and Chill.” How they respond to that invitation is completely and entirely up to them! “Netflix and Chill” may define our generation’s dating habits, but it doesn’t define us!

Angie Prencipe is a sophomore English Writing and Journalism undergrad at Indiana University of Pennsylvania..