Where do you watch Netflix? I watch on the couch in front of the big television in the family room, a shared space. Since everybody is stuck inside, TV time is a hot commodity. My sister wants to watch All American; my dad, Ozark; and I, Better Call Saul. Once it’s my turn, I only have a limited time frame.
With everybody watching something different, there’s no chance for engagement and discussion, and since we can’t invite our friends to watch with us, watching TV becomes quite lonely.
There is a simple solution for both problems: Google Chrome extensions Netflix Party and Scener. These free extensions allow up to ten people to watch Netflix on their computers as though they were the same screen. Additionally, the right-hand side of the screen holds a chat panel. This is useful for discussing a complex plotline or warning a fearful friend that a jump scare is coming.
Fifth Former and crime television enthusiast Drew Loughnane said, “Netflix Party allows you to keep in touch with friends while bonding over your favorite shows, all while being able to keep a safe distance from each other.”
At first, these screen share programs seem like a mechanism to cope with how uneventful our lives have become, but I believe they will turn your brainless binging into an interactive experience. Typing out your thoughts leads to reflection and greater understanding.
“The feature where you can pause the show and chat with your friends is innovative,” Loughnane said. “It makes us stop to think, and also see how our friends interpret things.”
After discovering this solution, I have not only been more sociable in this time of isolation, but the normally crowded family room TV has also opened up. Refer this great tool to your siblings, and they may just abandon the TV, excited to watch with their friends, leaving the prized family room to yourself.
You can add Netflix Party or Scener on the Chrome Web Store. The softwares will clash if both are installed, so choose one. Netflix Party has a smaller chat panel, and every member of the party has access to the “remote.” The party leader sends a link to get started.
Scener, on the other hand, has a larger and more complex chat panel. In addition, one user holds the digital remote. When that user pauses, the program pauses for everyone. Once you make an account, you can make different groups. Scener is more organized and developed than Netflix Party, but both are viable options.