Netflix Patches Reward Children for Binge-Watching

As if we didn’t spend enough time binge-watching our favorite shows, Netflix is testing a new feature: Netflix “Patches” that you can earn by watching every episode of select shows. Here’s the kicker—Netflix is rolling out the new rewards system for child-friendly shows like A Series of Unfortunate Events, Trolls, and Fuller House. Netflix is literally treating binge-watching TV like earning a badge in Boy Scouts or Girl Guides. Does no one remember all those warnings about not watching too much television as a kid?

Netflix users have started posting pictures and screengrabs of the new program. Patch-enabled shows have a red lock symbol on the top corner of thumbnails for select shows. It looks like viewers can earn one patch for each episode. The patches are, naturally, entirely pointless—the only reward for collecting the patches are the…patches. It’s like digital trophies for video games. It’s just a mindless and addictive way to encourage people to watch, play, or engage even more than usual. It doesn’t help that they remind us of nicotine patches—which should help you quit!

We’ll just say this—when you’re an adult you can binge all the TV you want (I sure do), but let’s not make Netflix even more addictive for kids. It’s hard enough for parents to tear their children away from the iPad and force them to do play with their friends. Patches are a bad idea. Achievement denied.

P.S. Please don’t make us watch every episode of Fuller House. Ugh.