Netflix's The Watcher Has Led To A Mind-Breaking Increase In Home Security Sales

Remember last December when a high profile "Sex and the City" legacy character showed up in the pilot episode of "And Just Like That," had a heart attack after using a Peloton exercise bike, and then real-life stocks of Peleton plummeted into the ground? Well, that's a thing that happened in case you aren't up to date on all things related to "Sex and the City." The outcry was so loud, "Sex and the City" and "And Just Like That" creator Michael Patrick King had to publicly clear Peloton of all wrongdoing because media literacy is dead. 

If today's news regarding Ryan Murphy's new Netflix thriller "The Watcher" is any sign, we're going to be waiting a bit longer for the chance of a media literacy resurrection.

"The Watcher" focuses on a family that moves into the home of their dreams in a New Jersey suburb, only to be terrorized by an anonymous presence who sends them threatening letters family in the hopes it will scare them away. The family soon realizes that their eccentric neighbors are even creepier than they'd anticipated, and paranoia quickly seeps in as they try to figure out who is responsible for the constant harassment. The series is based on a real-life 2018 New York Magazine feature, but the "based on a true story" promise seems to have gotten under the skin of audiences, as sales for security cameras reportedly made a 1000% jump following the series premiere (via Variety). 

Of course, this could be a coincidence, but "The Watcher" also apparently generated 125 million viewing hours in its first four days of release, making it difficult not to see the correlation as causation.

Paranoia or public safety?

The data comes from B&Q, a DIY and home improvement retail company that reported the massive spike in home security camera sales, also noting that on-site searches saw an 88% increase. When looking at Google Trends, searches for "security camera(s)" spiked on the weekend following the release of "The Watcher," with peak searches occurring between midnight and 1:00 a.m., a golden hour for binge-watching. Ryan Murphy took some pretty big creative liberties with the series version of the real-life events, but that certainly isn't stopping viewers from getting royally creeped out by the show's premise.

Ring Camera footage has become an extremely popular form of content sharing on TikTok, usually reserved to showcase delivery drivers being funny, kids falling in the front yard, or dogs running headfirst into screen doors. However, sharing footage of neighbors being creepy or unknown visitors lurking on patios in the middle of the night has also become a weirdly common brand of TikTok video, which certainly can't be helping the paranoia sparked by "The Watcher." 

In the same sense that the log truck scene in "Final Destination 2" completely changed the way most people drive on the highway, "The Watcher" appears to have joined the ranks of entertainment projects that have real-life effects on the way we move through the world.