The Buzz Around Netflix & Chill

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Netflix & Chill 

'Netflix and Chill' is a phrase that means 'Netflix and Relax.' A slang euphemism for amorous or sexual behaviour is "Netflix and Chill." The offer to turn on 'Netflix and Chill,' which started out as a harmless phrase in a Tweet, has since morphed into a coded communication encouraging one person visiting another's house to engage in sexual actions. 

By April 2015, it had been added to the infamous Urban Dictionary, a site where users can contribute to the creation of the modern-day teen lexicon, and was defined as "code for two people going to each other's houses and having sexual intercourse or doing other sexual related acts," according to the site.  

Where did the phrase "Netflix and Chill" originate? 

Let's start at the beginning, with the origin storey of 'Netflix and Chill.' Netflix, shockingly, has been around since 1997, when it was founded as a video and DVD rental firm, competing with the likes of – flashback moment – Blockbuster, before launching a digital streaming service in 2007.  

Setting the scene in 2009, when Netflix was first made available to stream from major electronic devices such as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, we see the first documented use of the phrase 'Netflix and Chill' in a tweet by user 'NoFaceNina,' who wrote: "I'm about to log onto Netflix and chill for the rest of the night." It’s a tweet that emulates a throwback-style social media post, one that assures the world is notified of your every step. But it’s also one that highlights a virtuous, healthy society, free of innuendo where the adolescent generation truly did look forward to kicking back alone and watching TV.  

The year 2015 marked a significant turning point in the phrase. The phrase became progressively subversive after being added to the Urben Dictionary, taking up hints of sexual overtones until it had taken a complete social media-fueled semantic drift, one that the company wasn't ashamed to be a part of. Netflix embraced the meme culture that has given its company sexual overtones by posting a GIF from a comedic 'seduction' scene in Clueless on their social media accounts in July 2015, labelled 'Netflix and chill?' 'Really, no.' 'Netflix and Chill' memes then went widespread on social media.  

Alternatives to 'Netflix and Chill' 

Although the expression 'Netflix and Chill' is new, the concept of inviting someone over to 'hook up' metaphorically is not. For decades, the English language has depended on innuendo to allude to sexual intercourse in an effort to be – debatably – courteous. Many precursors of such a satirical offer have been lost to the digital age, the most famous of which dates back to the 1890s and is "Would you care to come up and see my etchings?" Moving forward in time, most of us will recall the famous Gold Blend Couple, a narrative based on the pre-digital innuendo of 'coming up for a cup of coffee.'  

We will undoubtedly continue to develop new ways to be creatively suggestive in the fast-paced digital realm of social media and technology. Other streaming and entertainment services, such as 'Hulu and Hang,' 'Imax and Climax,' and other even less acceptable alternatives, have tried to hop on the 'Netflix and Chill' bandwagon and capture a piece of the 'Netflix and Chill' spotlight as well.  

‘'Netflix and Chill' movies are a great way to unwind

 When you're getting ready to 'Netflix and Chill,' the film you want to watch is probably the last thing on your mind. Even so, make sure whatever is playing in the background is mood-setting or at the very least not too distracting. Adventureland, Cocktail, and Magic Mike are among the 13 finest movies for your 'Netflix and Chill,' according to Vice. 

What are our current circumstances? 

The slang term made waves across the digital and physical worlds, signaling a shift in social culture. Businesses were inspired to leverage 'Netflix and Chill's popularity to bolster their marketing efforts, including:

  • A satirical app similar to Tinder where users can schedule 'Netflix and Chill' dates instead of merely meeting people: 
  • 'Netflix and Chill' condoms are FDA-approved. 
  • 'Netflix and Chill' is the theme of a $400 per night immersive Airbnb apartment. 
  • A flavour of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.  

Netflix even announced a beta feature called The Switch, which has been branded the "Netflix and Chill" button by some. The idea is that you can dim the lights, switch on Do Not Disturb on your phone, order takeout, and queue up a series to binge-watch all with the touch of a button. The idea didn't take off because to difficulties in programming The Switch to function with a person's TV, phone, and electrics. Despite this, the 'Netflix and Chill' fad continued unabated.  

Take Away

In less than ten years, the phrase "Netflix and Chill" went from being an introvert's catchphrase, explicit in meaning and solo in activity, to becoming one of the most widely used and understood Millennial euphemisms, expressing modern attitudes toward casual sex and the overwhelming power of digital media on language. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr have taken the word on their own etymological trip in front of millions of online followers, allowing them to contribute and help shape the phrase's meaning. 

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