Did Netflix… Crash?!

While you were at work today something catastrophic happened. Something so terrifying that I’m actually afraid to mention it here in fear that it’ll happen again. Kind of like saying Voldemort’s name aloud or saying “traffic has been good today” during a long drive. I’m Lucas Washington, I don’t want to wish that evil on anyone because if this was to occur again at the wrong time… we’re effed. Maybe not “effed” but certainly deeply inconvenienced. Maybe a bit disgruntled. But totally irrationally angry with a dash of deer in headlights. 

Of course, all this has you wondering what the hell I’m talking about. Well soon to be informed reader, I’m talking about the fact that Netflix crashed today. On a global scale. Not just here in the US but we’re talking a worldwide crash and that my friends is alarming. I won’t fault you if you hear the Purge alarm ringing in your head. Granted, I believe the whole crash lasted about an hour or close to it. No, I’m not entirely sure. I was at work and there is only so much time I can pay attention to these things before I hear “Kevin get off your phone.” The concern isn’t over how long it was (that’s what she said), it’s that it happened at all. 

Now I’m sure I’m making a big deal out of a small thing. I lived life with a cable box. I understand that sometimes cable goes out. Streaming services are probably no different but doesn’t it seem like they should be though? Losing a streaming service, globally, doesn’t seem like it should be a problem that comes with your subscription. Because #computersandstuff. 

Just look at the world we live in. Do you remember when Facebook and Instagram went down recently? Everyone went to Twitter to bitch about it. Same thing when Slack crashed. These tidbits trend in a major way. And if Twitter goes down then everyone slumps it over on Facebook. Again these aren’t problems that we really acquaint with your social media or technology because we hold them in such high regards but they’re not perfect. I mean, The Office is leaving Netflix in 2021 so clearly, there are flaws.

Yet this raises the question, what happens if streaming networks crash? What happens if their servers become overloaded by content or get a virus or just malfunction? The likelihood of every streaming network crashing at the same time probably has the same odds of a stormtrooper hitting a target, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Also, how hasn’t this happened yet? How hasn’t a fan base been so excited about a show that they crashed Netflix or Hulu? It’s happened multiple times to HBO. I want to say to some degree that it happened with the launch of Disney+. Servers can only take so much people.

Today’s Netflix calamity isn’t a major deal because it happened during work hours. Not a lot of people complaining about the crash because they weren’t able to watch Netflix anyway. Unless you called in sick today or are on vacation or something. Then the crash sucked out loud. But imagine if it happened around eight o’clock. Just in time for people to start watching The Office for the hundredth time or Friends or maybe trying to finish Stranger Things because a friend has been pestering them about needing to see it for months on end and you finally took the dive because you just wanted them to shut up but you find yourself enjoying the show yet are scared to admit it because said friend will never let it die. Suddenly this crash becomes a bigger deal in a time where Netflix really doesn’t need the heat. 

What I’m trying to get at is our streaming services aren’t invincible. Some of them have commercials. Some of them cancel shows too early. And some of them occasionally crash leaving us in this strange purgatory of what to watch when it does. Is it possible if one crashes it starts a domino effect as users switch to different streaming networks? Then what happens? We turn back to cable? Doubtful considering it’s standing on its last legs. 

I’m sure that I’m making a bigger deal out of this than it actually was but it got the wheels spinning. Maybe measures should be taken by all streaming services to ensure something like that is unlikely to happen in the future. Especially as we transition further and further away from cable. Otherwise, what are we going to do? Talk to each other? Could you imagine? 

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