Oneupweb : Netflix Conundrum

Netflix. Lately, that name has inspired some pure, unadulterated hatred within a huge amount of the online populace. Their “60% price increase” (about $6 actually, not the end of the world people) has brought the wrath of many down upon the little red envelope.

Quick recap: Depending on which outlet you read/believe, Netflix is attempting to kill the DVD/has discovered that streaming is a bit more expensive than first thought and now must up the price/hates their customers/is a greedy corporation on the march toward more dollah dollah bills y’all.

As Netflix is currently on their way to their very first billion (with a “B”) dollar quarter, the greedy corporation thing might hold some merit. Killing the DVD? I freaking hope not, I just finished rebuilding my library of hundreds of videos turned DVDs. Hates their customers? Not if they want a billion (with a “B”) dollar quarter. Expensive streaming? This one makes the most sense, but who knows? That post office isn’t getting any cheaper either!

Basically, Netflix turned their $9.99 per month price for unlimited DVDs (one checked out at a time) and unlimited streaming into a $15.98 plan. The two plans separately are now $7.99 per month each.

Is this a blog defending Netflix’s change? No. Is this a blog condemning it and threatening to close my account? No. This is a blog about priorities.

I was once a Netflix customer who held the $9.99 plan. As I never stream movies, I only took advantage of the unlimited DVDs aspect of this plan. When the price change was announced, I hopped on over to my Netflix account home page, clicked a few times, chose the DVD only option and SAVED myself $2.00 per month. So, I am part of the vast majority who could not care less about this change.

Let me tell you what I do care about.

I care deeply about the experience of life. I live my happy little existence in the style of “yes.” As much as possible, I say “yes” to any proposition to handed me (aside from murder and other obvious needs for “no”). This policy has brought me many amazing evenings with friends when I would have rather stayed on my couch. “Yes” has found me sleeping amongst friends and strangers on a Costa Rican beach, having traveled there on a whim only to find no vacant hotels. “Yes” has brought me adventure, pain, excitement, pure, unadulterated fear, love (all you need is love!) and many other emotions and experiences, far too numerous to list here. “Yes” is my best friend and “yes” allows me to experience life in the way that it should be experienced; without reservation, without care, with gusto, passion and awe.

What does this have to do with Netflix? A lot. I love when my little red envelope arrives in the mail. It has brought me and my fiancé (herself a result of a “yes”) many amazing titles. From Mary and Max to The Human Experience, 180 Degrees South to Beer Wars, Sex and Lucia to City of God and many more, we have had some spectacular cinematic experiences thanks to Netflix, experiences that our local Carmike and Family Video could never offer us.

Yet, I find myself disgusted by the fact that so many people in this nation confine themselves to their living room furniture or bedroom mattress frame while life is happening, fast and furious, just beyond their door.

We receive 1-2 movies per week. We watch 1-2 movies per week. We refuse to pay a cable or satellite company $100+ per month for 15 minute commercial breaks. When those around us discover that our home has no cable television and that our TV watching habits are limited to 1-2 movies per week, we receive some very interesting looks and questions, sometimes even mocking. Of course, there is an ever growing fraction of our group of friends (and the nation) that subscribe to our lifestyle, but still, there are way too many people whose sole form of life “experiencing” involves their TV.

Instead of complaining about the fact that you have to choose between instant streaming of movies and unlimited DVDs, perhaps you should step outside and create your own story. Say “yes” when you don’t really want to. Get active. Ride your bike. Experience life. Use your Netflix moments as a time to relax with a loved one, not a time to build your knowledge about some far away land. That’s what they invented airplanes for.

You can watch a movie about Guatemala, but you can never know Guatemala until you visit it. Imagine that at the water cooler, folks! “I watched a cool doc about Guatemala last night,” says Bill. “Nice!” said Amy. “I just got back from spending two weeks there. We swam in Lago de Atitlan and roasted marshmallows over a river of lava on Pacaya.”

Something we do very well at Oneupweb is live. Our TC lifestyle rocks. I encourage you to get out there and live. Do that and no Netflix price increase, or other formerly earth shattering happening, will matter ever again.