You probably know that Netflix cheating is now a ‘thing’, taken seriously in more and more relationships. Partners who sneak off and watch the next two episodes of Line of Duty alone are morally reprehensible humans breaking an unspoken bond of trust.
But in our busy world, it seems more and more people in relationships are facing the dilemma of solo streaming – despite having promised their partner they’ll wait.
Netflix’s own research suggests that nearly half of us have cheated like this. Mexico and Brazil have the most cheaters, with nearly 60 per cent of subscribers confessing to straying while the Dutch are most likely to be faithful, with 73 per cent remaining true. Who knew?
And the problem only gets worse when love dies. Two in five Kiwis’ marriages end within 25 years of the wedding day, so if the worst happens and you split up, who needs a permanent reminder from Netflix of all the shows you used to watch together?
The cause of this pain is Netflix’s algorithm. It peruses the shows you watch to recommend other shows with similar metadata. Once another person’s tastes are added to the equation, the algorithm starts to cater to things they’ve watched on your profile with you, giving recommendations that aren’t always up your street. So if your ex is a devotee of Tiger King, you’ll get recommendations based on that. Not okay for many!
And to reinforce this terrible first world problem we’re facing, singles on average have seven partners before settling down. Combine these statistics and you have a lot of people unhappy with what they see being served up by Netflix.
Thankfully there is a solution – it’s just that no one knows it. This little-known lifehack allows you to reset your specially curated algorithm so Netflix can get back to suggesting stuff only you like.
All you need do is find your Netflix profile and locate your name in the topright
corner. Click “Your Account” and scroll down to “My Profile” and then select “Viewing Activity”. This shows a list of everything you’ve ever viewed. Just select the shows and movies you want to forget forever and voila!
Pretty soon Netflix will forget your ex-partner faster than you do and the fact they were New Zealand’s biggest fan of Friends will be history. You’ll notice welcome signs that everything is back to normal and Netflix’s recommendations are singularly focussed on all
the things you like. Binging on Narcos, Ozark and Peaky Blinders never felt so good.
– Mike Larmer is the founding director at creative agency Chemistry. He is particularly interested in the intersections between data and creativity.
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