Pop culture incompatibility.
It’s the idea that for certain pop culture-obsessed types the notion of being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t like any of the same films or TV shows is a deal-breaker. You should be with someone who has shared interests with you, right? In this case, those interests just happen to be specific to film and television.
How common is it? Well, Netflix just concluded a study in which they asked asked users how their viewing habits improved or worsened their relationships. Their results indicate that 25% of Netflix users find people more attractive based on the TV shows they watch.
Attractive. Makes me laugh. Loves dogs. Watches Breaking Bad.
Or something like that.
Netflix referred to this trait as “Show Goggles.” Just over a quarter (27%) of the respondents indicated that “Show Incompatibility” was important to them in a relationship, and nearly 60% shamefully admitted that they’ve added shows or films to their profile just to attract a potential suitor. The shows which are apparently best suited for that kind of thing are comedies like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and The Office, and on the drama side they’re House of Cards and Breaking Bad.
We’ve all been fighting over the TV remote for decades, and a constant negotiation in relationships and households has been who gets to watch what and when. As Fox’s recent Grease: Live production joked, there was a time when “Netflix and Chill” meant driving 20 miles to an outdoor movie theater and slowly working up the courage to make your move. However, there has never been anything that so transparently wants to turn us into TV addicts as Netflix, and if we increasingly define ourselves by what we like letting someone else in on that is tricky.
So, Netflix did their study, and found out that “Show Incompability” is probably not as important as you’d guess. Also, there’s apparently a 50/50 chance that whoever you’re with will think that sharing a Netflix password with them is a significant relationship moment, and maybe that’s why so many people admitted to fine-tuning their profile to include less embarrassing films and shows.
Ultimately, though, I don’t know that any of this is really all that new. The profile manipulating is like the new version of people showcasing impressive books in their homes and apartments just to look smart, and couples have argued over what to watch together since well before Netflix. The study mostly showed that such arguments are still happening, with 65% of respondents admitting to negotiating with a spouse over what to watch next on Netflix.
Here are the Netflix inforgraphics with all the results: