Why I Watched Netflix’s ‘You’ And Freaked Out 

Here’s my two cents on why I think the Netflix show ‘You’ is important for millennials in the age of social media.

4 min read
Hindi Female

Like every Millennial working crazy hours through the week, I spent my Sunday doing what I love best- Netflix, Biryani and a few comfy pillows for the food coma that’s sure to follow. Usually, I am perfectly capable of switching off any episode the minute I can feel the first few waves of sleep creep up on me, but this Sunday it wasn’t sleep that creeped.

The Netflix You series managed to give me the heebie-jeebies, about how the details of my life could be watched by someone who knows a lot about me but about whom I know very little. ‘You’, with Greg Berlanti (Riverdale) and Sera Gamble (Supernatural) also starring ‘Gossip Girl’ good guy Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) has been an eye-opener for me in more ways than one.


Now let’s tell you a little bit about the show. At the outset, the protagonist- Joe Goldberg- is your average smart-mouth cute-boy, working as a bookseller in a rustic bookstore in New York- a city of dreams for writers and readers. When Joe meets Beck—an aspiring writer with a questionable taste in friends (who doesn’t seem to write that much either tbh), he instantly falls in love and vows to make her see that he’s the one for her.

But - there’s a tiny problem here. Joe happens to be a stalker. A serious one. An ‘I will kill, injure and destroy whoever comes in between us, Beck, because I love you’ kind of stalker. Beck has no idea that she’s basically dating a sociopath stalker, and I know you’re thinking that this is super exaggerated, and people should know better, but, here’s the funny thing.

A quick twenty second glance at Instagram shows me where my friends were the night before, where they went next, who they went with and when they got home. I’ve been there myself- waking up to messages from people on my list saying- ‘Ohh how was this place you went to? I’ve been meaning to go there forever’ or ‘I was there too, missed you by a few minutes’.

Another quick search online shows me that there are others like me, who also found the show so disturbing.

Here’s why: a) The cloud, the internet and therefore the world, have our private information and b) The the world of online stalking has become way too normalised.

Going back to the show, I think we can safely assume that Joe’s sociopathic tendencies are a prime example of when a casual ‘Was on my crush’s profile and I liked all her pictures’ changes to ‘every breath you take, every move you make, I’ll be watching you!’

On the day she gives him her name and tells him she’s a writer- Beck doesn’t realise that Jo will use this ‘’Hi, Hello’’ info to go off and google everything he can possibly find out about her.

A stalker intent on stalking you will do so no matter how little or how much you put out on social media.

The World is Your Oyster, But Also Your Diary

Here’s a scary incident. My friend joined a dating app but didn’t keep a ‘bio’ and basically had no information on her profile. She started talking to this guy and within the first few minutes of their chat- he asked her about her pet cat, her parents back in Delhi, her job- right down to the company name and her ex-boyfriend, who she thought she’d deleted every evidence off, from her feed. But he still knew everything about her!

She freaked out and blocked him. And while she didn’t see him dressed in a hoodie, sunglasses and a baseball cap- the classic stalker outfit - outside her door, it did raise the very real possibility that him tracking her down wouldn’t be all that hard.


When Will We Stop Normalising Online Stalking?

Memes on the internet glorify the idea of online stalking. 

“You know you’re in deep when you’ve found your crush’s first girlfriend’s mother’s sister.” Or “your best friends aren’t your best friends unless they’ve done a complete social media check on your guy...down to his bank balance.” Memes like these pop out at me every time I go on a social media platform, and god knows I get a few of them everyday from my friends.

And I don’t think twice about it, because it’s normal right? Rom-coms, literature- they've all taught us that there’s almost a romantic notion to casually stalking someone’s profile online, because it must mean that you like them right?

Joe almost gave it away so many times, blurting out things about her that he wasn’t supposed to know. But she found it pretty cute and innocuous that he tracked her down outside the city to some obscure town, based on a building he found in the background of a picture she put up online. And while the rest of us were screaming- ‘Get out Beck, the guy’s a sociopath!’, Beck as still in the dark that the boy she was seeing was a serious stalker.


What I do know is that no matter how much you post, it is never your fault that someone stalked you. So many women in India have suffered from the dangerous consequences of being stalked, with half the cases not even being reported! Some of the stalking started online and some of it didn’t.

Coming back to ‘YOU’, I will say the show enlightened me in the dark ways of the online world- with its seemingly fictionalised dangers seeming very real. For all our sakes- let’s just hope that we never find our Joe Goldberg!

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Social Media   Netflix   Facebook 

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