At this point, it's almost difficult to remember that there was an era before we could watch our favorite TV shows anytime we wanted. It used to be that your favorite show was on at the same time every week, and that was that. If you weren't at your home at the specific time the show was on, you were out of luck. Sure, if you had a VCR, you could attempt to record the show, but even that method wasn't fool-proof. But now, thanks to DVRs, On Demand viewing, and streaming services like Netflix, that's all changed.
And there was also a time when you could only watch one episode of your favorite show at a time. Now you can watch a few episodes or even an entire season all at once. You might miss out on having that full week of excitement of wondering what will happen next, but the convenience usually makes up for that.
So now you can watch Netflix, but also be aware that Netflix is also watching you. They even tweeted this in December 2017, calling out the 53 people who watched the movie A Christmas Prince every day for the previous 18 days. And the tweet actually became a bit controversial.
For some people, they simply liked hearing what weird stats Netflix has on their users. Others enjoyed that Netflix as giving out a little bit of good-natured snark to their subscribers. And then there was another group that wasn't quite as pleased.
The tweet was criticized by many people who didn't like that Netflix was using its Twitter feed to make fun of people. And others were upset that Netflix was keeping track of what they were watching in the first place. But of course they know what people watch, since it's part of their business to know what movies and shows are doing well and which ones are not.
He said that, during one summer, he had a major bout of depression. "I wasn't working as I was on break from college and waiting until I moved back to my college town to start again," he said. "I ended up doing nothing but watching Netflix."
It was at this time that his Office binge happened. And this wasn't just watching the show for a couple hours a day. "I finished The Office in something like 5 - 10 days, I don't quite remember," he said. At 188 episodes, that's over 90 hours of TV.
Of course, if you watch several episodes of one show in a row on Netflix, you might get a message on your screen that looks like this. Netflix just wants to check in, and pause your viewing in case you fell asleep or something. But this Reddit user said he got even more from Netflix than a message on his screen.
After all that binging of The Office, King-Salamander said Netflix reached out to him directly. "I received an email from Netflix asking if I was okay," he said. "They had noticed that I had my account running non-stop for over a week and they wanted to check on me and make sure I was doing well since my viewing activities became so much more frequent than they used to be."
He said that the message from Netflix actually helped him out during a tough time. "Honestly made me feel better just knowing that someone, even a stranger working at a customer support agency, cared about my mental health," he said. So it was helpful that Netflix was able to spot an unusual pattern.
As his Reddit comment became more popular, King-Salamander addressed a few questions that people had. One thing he mentioned is that he no longer has that email, because it went to a student email address he no longer uses. So we'll just have to take his word that this actually happened, but it seems very unlikely that anyone would make this up.
King-Salamander added that he's now improved how he deals with his depression. "I'm doing a lot better now!" he said. "I'll always suffer from depression, as it's a mental illness, but I've learned that it's not about trying to defeat the monster it's about learning how to live with it."
He also mentioned that he's not secretly some sort of Netflix spokesperson. "I'm not a Netflix shill. I am a barista with $0.78 cents in my checking account. If I worked for Netflix I'd be making more money than that." However, he added, "if anyone from Netflix wanted to hire me, send me a message. I graduate in a year."