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Outrage at the Netflix Outrage

Netflix is the latest company to suffer from a barrage of anger from the social media universe. People everywhere are up in arms about the direction they are going, writing more tweets about the spin off of Netflix's DVD company than the number of DVDs Netflix has actually mailed to consumers.

I personally don't really care, I've been a Netflix customer since the early days. I immediately canceled my DVD plan the moment the company offered a streaming only plan, and I have actually had my account suspended since April. I don't currently don't use their service. But it's still interesting to watch, and I did put out my snarky 140 character reply today, mainly because I think they are making terrible business decisions.

Yet as I watch the drama unfold I started to get frustrated. Our country has seen an incredible increase in poverty over the last decade, their is a famine happening in Africa, Haiti and Japan are still suffering from the aftermaths of devestating earthquakes, yet people are complaining because their entertainment options are suddenly different.

I was moments from sending a tweet to that effect. I think it was something along the lines of "I wish we could redirect this Netflix outrage toward a disease, starvation, or poverty" when I realized something. People like to complain. Every single day you can log onto Twitter or Facebook and see someone you know complaining about something. 95% of the time these are first world problems. But people don't complain about Netflix because they think that's the only problem worth complaining about, they complain because even though they know nothing will probably happen because of their complaint, it doesn't really matter. Their life is going to be just fine.

On the other hand, tweeting or posting about famine, disease, or a disaster isn't fun. Because your Tweet feels like poking a bear with a toothpick. There is no gratification in talking about things that actually matter. We can talk about the worst things in the world all day, and it doesn't feel any different than tweeting about Netflix making our lives a bit more difficult, except for the fact that at the end of the day, the fact that your tweet didn't accomplish anything actually sucks.

This post is fairly depressing, but basically all I wanted to say was that instead of casting judgement on those who complain about something as ridiculous as a Netflix price hike, it might be worth noting that that person complaining about the price hike probably donates time and energy to things that actually matter. They probably just don't waste their time tweeting about it because feeling like you aren't making a difference talking about something that actually matters isn't a whole lot of fun*.

*This isn't to say everyone shouldn't try to raise awareness of these things, but that someone's personal Twitter account probably doesn't feel like the right platform to them.