Social distancing forced me to change one pastime where I screen dvds classes. This new adjustment inspired me to check out a program called Netflix Party, which lets groups watch the same show simultaneously but from different locations. Of course, many proclaim it as “easy” and “brainless,” but my friends and I fall into an age group that works on a “need to know” basis with our personal computers: we need to know how to turn them on, type messages, and send e-mails. Beyond that, we require help from seven-year olds.
Proceeding confidently without any input from kids, we followed instructions by logging into netflixparty.com on our Google Chrome browsers. We responded to prompts and clicked various “add to” buttons. I also watched instructions on Youtube.
At an agreed-upon time, we all got in front of our p.c.s. I logged on to Netflix, started a movie, paused it, and clicked an icon in the top right that said N.P. Easy, right? So far, yes. Clicking the NP made me the screening’s official quote “moderator,” so I received a URL address that I copied and emailed to the group. Easy. Yes…but. We hit some snags.
It turned out one person used the Safari browser so she had to switch to Chrome. Then her p.c. crashed and she had to reboot. It took twenty-five minutes before all of us showed up in the Netflix Party chat box that comes on screen and lets us type in comments during and after the movie. Ultimately, the screening worked just fine and we had fun making snide comments and wise observations while watching the film. We want to do it again but agreed the next movie will be something more cheerful than Outbreak about a pandemic overtaking a small northern California town. Timely, yes, but we need a laugh.