Spain #13: Cultural Distinctions

Harry Niles ’21 describes the cultural differences between American and Spanish television. 

When arriving in Cádiz, there were many differences between the United States and Spain. First of all, you eat dinner at 10 o’clock and a normal sleep time is 11:30. Secondly, siestas are crucial routines during your daily schedule. But maybe the most apparent of them all was Netflix. When talking with other students, I began to observe how the platform is viewed differently across the seas. It’s almost as though you are using a website completely different than in the States. Now it may-be the contrast between copyright rule, but there seems to be a large cultural difference between the two viewing platforms. First, is the sheer number of television shows and movies offered between the two nations. Secondly, is entertainment interest in Spain. Thirdly, the cultural barrier between the two nations creates a large separation in popularity among programs.

Looking at statistics and numbers one can notice how there is a clear disparity between the shows one is able to view. There are approximately “237” Television Series, according to finder.com’s article titled Netflix International: What movies and TV shows can I watch, and where can I watch them?, on Spanish Netflix while a grand total of “1326” in the United States (from the same article). So in America, viewers have a larger number of programs to choose from, while in Spain they’re a select few offered to viewers. This large disparity allows for a smaller viewer interest and membership, causing for a smaller focus in society.

Secondly, is the entertainment divide between the two nations. In Spain, when asking other high school students, the popular show seems to be “La Casa de Papel” otherwise known in America as “Money Heist”. Many Americans may not know about this television series but in Spain it’s all the rave. Both adult and teenagers seem to share the common interest of a single TV series. While in the US, teenagers may be more attracted to comedies, such as: Brooklyn 99 or Victorious (Both featured on Spain’s Netflix), and adults may enjoy watching Modern Family (again a show featured only on Spanish Netflix). So, the programs offered to viewers in Spain are more well suited to those living in the United State’s but due to issues concerning copyright they aren’t displayed on the streaming platform’s US website. So when monitoring entertainment interest we can notice how there are fewer shows of interest curated towards Spanish interest on Spain’s Netflix.

Lastly, is Spain’s cultural difference. In Spain, I have noticed how social experiences typically take place outside. On the streets and in the parks are typically where people will communicate and discuss. Families will host parties, holiday festivities are celebrated, small talk between friends, and the occasional intimate conversation all take place on the streets of Cádiz. While, in the United States, most social interactions take place in living rooms and kitchens. So this contrast would clearly indicate why the streaming platform is less popular as Spain’s culture is to socialize mainly outdoors where there is no need for technology’s influence.

From my trip abroad, I have learned a great deal about the hold television posses over many, including me, in the US. I will come back with a greater interest to socialize outside and reduce the amount of time I may spend viewing television shows indoors. There is so much our world has to offer, so why watch Netflix?

 

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