Shared taste in books, movies, or music can bring two people together. But they can cause tiffs, too, if you don’t share the same preferences. It used to be the debate over who controls the TV remote control was a big deal in a relationship, but as technology has progressed, so have our entertainment-related arguments. In Sunday’s New York Times, writer Michael Wilson considered the battles that wage in households that share a Netflix account. Wilson spoke to couples whose tastes in movies (and watching habits) didn’t mesh, and arguments ensued over who got the next pick in the Netflix queue.
Most of the fights, however, seem to be about how long the couples keep movies without watching them. Louis Marino had “The English Patient” for six months because his wife didn’t want to watch it. They never did see it before sending it back. Tom Smith has decided to limit the amount of time his girlfriend can keep a movie, because she’s really slow about getting to them. Greg Albrecht’s fiancee returns his DVDs after a week, regardless of whether he’s gotten to watch them. The fact that people are setting limits on how long their significant other keeps a movie goes against the whole point of Netflix — that you can get whatever movie you want and keep it until you’re ready to give it back. But why don’t couples just cancel their accounts or move to a less expensive plan if they’re only going to get to one DVD a month?There has been one known “Netflix divorce,” in which a couple didn’t actually divorce, but they created separate accounts on the DVD rental site after having trouble sharing a queue. Smart people, however, will do what my friends Colin and Amanda do — they have one account but different profiles that operate independently of one another. So, if she keeps a movie for ages without watching it, he can still get new ones at his own pace. [NY Times]