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Spoilers! The bane of anyone who is interested in anything and doesn’t like that anything to be ruined before experiencing it themselves. Never has a sentence so eloquently described a spoiler before, I’m sure of it.
The most annoying thing about a spoiler is that it affects people who are passionate about a ‘thing’. The more passionate you are, the more damning the effect of the spoiler. You’re basically being punished for liking something. What a cruel, cruel world. For those of you sat there unawares – spoilers come in all shapes and sizes:
- There’s the dickhead who likes ruining things because spoilers.
- There are media outlet websites that thrive from posting spoiler content as it leads to increased viewing figures.
- The slip of the tongue ‘whoops I just ruined your favourite show’ spoilers.
- The person who likes to know things before anyone else and bursts at the seams in an attempt to gain some self-fulfilling enlightenment.
Basically, spoilers exist, they will always exist and it’s difficult to steer clear of them. I, however, have a non-foolproof way of avoiding them.
Time is money, and when it comes to spoiler territory they are very much one and the same. The best way to avoid a spoiler for your beloved show/film/game/book/thing. is to watch/play/read/another verb it as soon as humanly possible. The problem with this is that some of us chumps have full-time jobs meaning spare time is limited. We also use the money from said jobs to pay for fun things like rent, bills and council tax so purchasing ‘the thing’ might have to wait a while. This, in turn, means the ease of accessing these things can be thwarted by the aforementioned burdens of life. What else can be done? Let us sit and read the exciting tale of ‘Kieran watches Star Wars’
Star Wars Episode VII – A tale of social media evasion
Last year there was a new Star Wars film out, you may have heard about it. Spoiler territory was rife with this one. It was an exciting time for movie-goers and even more so for fans of the original Star Wars trilogy. Most wanted to wait until viewing the film to see how the story unfolded but, of course, there was a pocket of society that needed to know everything asap.
Fortunately, the release of the film was handled very tactically and as a result, there were next to no spoilers prior to its release. Of course when it did get released the flood gates opened. Websites and social media filled with people airing their excitement for what they had seen. Often sounds of a Star Wars discussion would travel through corridors, landing in my tiny little ear holes. It was a trying time, especially as I wasn’t going to be seeing the film until a week after release so I had to make a drastic decision. I decided to cut out all social media for that week and it bloody worked!
Social media is the perfect garden to sow spoiler seeds and I know this all too well. A number of TV shows I watch have been ruined by someone dropping a casual spoiler on Twitter or Facebook. Even pages governed by said shows have known to slip up sometimes. The official Walking Dead managed to drop a “RIP [Character Name]” bomb 10 minutes before the mid-season finale aired… they’ve now been unfollowed. With this all too real fear of having something I enjoy being ruined, I took the drastic approach of ignoring social media entirely.
One thing stood out during my week of social media abstinence. I depend on it too much. The first morning I woke up and automatically opened the Twitter app on my phone. The scary thing was that this was an automatic process like I’d been hard-wired to check Twitter as soon as I awoke from my sleep. The urge didn’t stop either. The second nature instinct kicked in again during my lunch hour at work when I found myself typing “facebook.com” into the address bar. Enough was enough! I deleted both the Facebook & Twitter apps from my phone and eventually managed to train myself not to load up either site in a browser. Once the first few days were out of the way the rest was pretty simple. It was actually quite refreshing to have days without motivational posters, casual racism and pictures of food flood my retinas. Has it converted me to a life of zero social media? Of course not, I fell back into my own ways as soon as I’d watched the film.
Ultimately my plan was a huge success, I managed to experience the film without any of it being ruined prior. Unfortunately, the experience of watching the film was somewhat disheartening. Not for the quality of the film, that was great, but instead, the fact that a mother moved her son away from me, a lone guy sat in the cinema, presumably to protect him from my assumed child abduction pastime* It sullied the experience slightly. The fact is though I had successfully beaten the spoiler trolls!
After leaving the cinema I jumped straight onto Twitter to let my followers know that I had seen the film and that I found it thoroughly enjoying, spoiler free of course. I knew they had been waiting some time for my review so I couldn’t leave them hanging any longer. Immediately after opening Twitter I saw a tweet “OMG, can’t believe [massive spoiler]… #StarWars” (words to that effect). There it was. Living proof that reluctantly escaping the clutches of social media was, in fact, the correct thing to do.
What have I learned from this experience? Social media is the devil. Completely erase it from your life should you care about a certain something dear to you getting spoiled. Resist the urge of checking your likes on Facebook or the number of retweets a hilarious tweet has received. Just get rid. Avoid it completely.
Fortunately the people I see and talk to on a regular basis honour the secret code of spoiling content so I don’t need to worry about those. If however, you have someone in your circle who is renowned for blurting out who just died in Game of Thrones unfriend them. It’s the only way.
*Please note that I do not abduct children.