At some point during the last decade, the term “binge-watching” made its way into the lexicon thanks to streaming services that made it easier than ever to find yourself stuck to your couch for hours on end devouring the virtually endless amount of content at your disposal. This wasn’t necessarily a new phenomenon, as it was just as easy to get sucked into watching every installment of The Mummy franchise or a Cops marathon on cable back in the day, but the ability to view as many episodes of a television series as you pleased without having to worry about commercials took things to a whole other level.
A few years before Netflix changed the game by ushering in the Streaming Era, Nintendo was responsible for another source of endless entertainment in the form of Wii Sports, which featured a number of virtual athletic activities that were incredibly easy to get far too invested in. As a result, it occasionally interrupted gaming sessions with an impressively passive-aggressive prompt that asked players, “Why not take a break?”
At some point, Netflix decided to take a page out of their book, and if you’ve ever thrown on a few episodes of The Office that you’ve already seen five times, you’ve likely been greeted with the “Are you still watching?” page that pops up if you haven’t touched your controller or remote for an extended amount of time. While I assume it was designed with good intentions in mind, it’s basically the streaming equivalent of the “Shame Bell” from Game of Thrones, as it really only serves to make you feel bad about yourself.
Thankfully, it appears Netflix has finally set out on its own walk of atonement, as The Verge reports a number of binge-watchers have recently been greeted by a new message the company is testing out that gives you the option to permanently disable the pop-up.
Netflix adding a “Play Without Asking Again” button is def one of the top 3 things to happen in 2020. pic.twitter.com/6C4N6izp4h
— Kaitlin Cubria (@KCubes) September 28, 2020
Since when Netflix added these options? “Play without asking again” pic.twitter.com/bhYtiwwzui
— E’Jasmine 💕 (@yungpac___) September 24, 2020
GUYS AM I LATE TO KNOW THIS??? NETFLIX FINALLY DID THE THING. PLAY WITHOUT ASKING AGAIN. WHAT A TIME. pic.twitter.com/A9DiS7X2ha
— tyonna (@tyonnaaa) September 23, 2020
As of right now, it doesn’t appear there’s any way to disable the prompt manually but you may want to check your account settings and visit the “Test participation” page to check if you’ve opted in to be treated to potential features before they’re officially rolled out to every user—which I can only hope will be the case with this one sooner rather than later.