My blog is read by my children. So this post will be written for the eyes of a child. Ones that are too precious for the nurturing of their minds and their souls.
If you’re intelligent, you’ve got the point already and can simply proceed to cancel your Netflix subscription. If you’re the ziddy (stubborn) type, reading anything won’t help. If you’re one of those who can’t reverse a decision you’ve made, or are too protective of your choices, you’re on the path of self-destruction. If you’re an early-adopter like me, read on.
I cancelled Netflix the first time on April 7, 2011. Twice thereafter, the last time, permanently.
Netflix like any ‘subscription’ is addictive. As children we saw our parents addicted to their VCRs – to ‘Hindi’ and some ‘English’ movies. The Sultanate of Oman was the best place to watch a movie as a kid. I’m talking about the 80s. There were no cinemas for families, so to say. The ones we had were no go places, families had way better moral values back then and little money to be extravagant. Movie-going was not your weekend treat, nor was it your weekend relaxant.
At home the VCR was the rage. If you don’t know what a VCR is, google it. VCRs were of two types, Betamax or VHS. The family that bought one, or would want to buy one, talked about or were talked into buying VHS over Betamax. You were either VHS or Betamax, that determined if you could share your ‘pirated’ cassette library with family and friends. That was VCRflix.
The greatest part the customs (department) played was this, they had an iron clad control on movies. As children we never got to see inappropriate material. If a movie had something questionable, it was edited out and released officially so every copy of whatever material was being consumed was clean. As the years went by, I recall large chunks of some movies edited-out (you’d come to know when suddenly the scene would skip to another scene). Largely due to cultural overdose (I write this mildly) or simply unacceptable behavior.
(My Rambo 1 and 2 video cassettes were confiscated, wiped-out with TV snow. Rambo 3 was allowed. I remember buying these on my way back from our Pakistan holiday. I was 12. BIG GRIN!).
So as children our parents and specially our moms had no qualms renting a movie they thought would be nice for their kids and just playing it. I can name a few, but then I don’t want kids to follow and watch these when they grow up (I have erred). At some levels, it was just amazing and it was the way things should have been. At least when ‘we’ could have made a point to keep them so, at our behest.
My family left Oman by the end of 1994. I had left earlier in the summer of 1993 (or so I recall). What happened next, was an absolute shame. Pakistan was a nightmare when it came to any form of regulation of inappropriate ‘entertainment.’ A complete lack of sense at how society could be nurtured for the future. There were and there are no protective measures in place to filter inappropriate media even today, and it’s an all-you-can-consume hell of sorts. I’m not talking about banning a few satellite channels here and there (whimsically). Those are petty things. Having lived back home, I had a sense that the world was free. Free to choose sin over sanity. Free to consume like an animal.
In the January of 1996 my Boeing 777 landed on the tarmac of Dubai International Airport. Okay, I got you there for a moment. HAHA! I’m not Al Waleed to own my own superjet (and for lack of want from having some of my friends butcher me, I resist adding ‘Not yet.’ But I really want to. Life’s all about dreaming dreams you can live one day. إن شاء الله). So it was an Emirates airlines 777 and boy those days Emirates was the Apple of our eyes. To a degree it still is. I digress, where was I?
Tune down what we experienced in Oman by about 95% and that’s how things have been here. I’m aware as media has become more direct (there’s no way to ‘edit-out’ Netflix or Youtube) and it has become harder to regulate (the modern world seems to keep ‘evolving’ their morals) so we can’t expect things to be like they were back when we were children (and in great hands). Technology is outsmarting us at every step, there are front-doors, there are back-doors and most of us families are simply not equipped to fight the onslaught of modern entertainment.
Don’t go to kuch nahee hota (nothing shall happen; said with absolute belief, yet with a scare deep down), bachey nahee dekh rahey (kids aren’t being shown this; loosely translated), kids area alag hai (the service has a kids area) or those kinds of absolutely unreasonable thoughts bachey bhee barey ho kar dekh lain gey (kids can also follow us and watch when they are grown up; loosely translated).
Netflix is bad for you. Haram at multiple levels. An invitation to Hell at many others.
I cancelled Netflix permanently on December 25, 2017 (after a few months of paid use) for one pure reason. I didn’t want my kids to have Netflix as a top of the mind goto addiction. While the subscription lasted we watched some very interesting shows and kids cartoons (which I love to watch by the way) but every time we’d cast one of those shows to our television, the Netflix brand, its presence in our home warned me – it was here to stay. And I foresaw darkness’s desire to consume us (okay, now let’s roll the cameras).
I was addicted to Netflix and when I chose to cancel, I had reached a point where my inner self would either give in to accepting what was ‘inappropriate’, or to bail out forever. I chose to bail out forever. I suffered withdrawal symptoms, thought I would go back later to catch up on some shows in summer or winter and it kept coming back at me like a beast. I had to fight it. Mid-way some shows.
Netflix offers unlimited Movies, TV shows and more for a ‘small’ monthly fee. It takes you 34,739 hours to watch everything (and its been growing and growing). If you ever use the free trial watch these shows first:
‘Sultanate of I’
and my favorite:
Oh and by the way, they’re all directed by The World’s Greatest ‘Director’.