Spoilers: Is it me or is it you?

Alright lets talk spoilers. If anyone has been personally victimized by a spoiler, please raise your hand. Alright, raise your hand if you’ve ever accidentally spoiled something for someone. I think all of us have been in that position where you’re just scrolling through Twitter and then a spoiler hits you like a freight train that you didn’t see coming. Or you’re talking with a friend and you just get on a roll and start talking about chapter 44 when your friend hasn’t read chapter 44 yet. With how connected we are these days with Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, etc., I feel like its getting too entirely easy to spoil or get spoiled by someone.

So I’m going to lay a disclaimer here and say that I feel like I am a freakin magnet for spoilers. I don’t know if its timing, maybe I need to lay off of the internet, or I just look like someone who wants to be spoiled. I’ve had a major plot point of Star Wars: Force Awakens spoiled for me the night the movie released. The Walking Dead was spoiled for me with this most recent season because of livetweeting. But what really got me thinking about spoilers was the fact that I was in the middle of an audiobook that has recently been turned into a movie. Someone on my Twitter timeline went and saw the movie and tweeted something funny about what happened. Well that something funny turned out to be a huge spoiler and I hadn’t even reached anything that was leading up to that spoiler yet. Yes, I was fuming. I was upset. But I didn’t get mad at that person because I knew it was unintentional. I think I was upset because I wanted that part to be revealed to me the way that it was supposed to be. I was listening to this audiobook while my fiance was reading the book, and I became envious of him. He gets to have the book plot revealed to him the way it was supposed to be. And in a way, I feel robbed. I feel cheated. You only get that first time read once, and I feel like its ruined. Everyone loves that feeling when a rebellion finally breaks out in a book or so and so finally kiss after 25 chapters of agonizing slow burn tension. It feels diminished, and in a way, I feel like its one of the worst things that can happen to a reader.

I know that spoilers come with the internet. Its all part of the territory, and we all know to use common decency and not spoil things for people. But what counts as a spoiler? How do you know if something is revealing too much information without having read or seen that part yet? How do you prevent yourself from accidentally revealing too much? I don’t believe that Twitter provides enough tools to prevent these kinds of things, because on more than one occasion I have wanted nothing more than a hashtag to be muted. And then this just gets me thinking. Am I following people who tend to be spoilery or is it all accidental? It also makes me feel like I need to watch everything as quickly as possible and read everything as quickly as possible so that I can avoid spoilers. But in the end, thats pointless. There aren’t enough hours in a day to achieve that task. And I shouldn’t be reading or watching something just so that I can stay ahead of everyone else. Its a losing battle, and I’ll lose my enjoyment of reading really fast. But what else can I do? Just sit back and be spoiled? And then further more, how old does a book or movie have to be before its okay to discuss every aspect online? Logically, I think the answer should be never. Theres so much that goes into this, and its all starting to blur together into this grey area that I have no idea how to navigate anymore.

I think maybe we need to start talking about whats okay to talk about and whats considered spoilery. For me, I’ve kind of just stopped mentioning things in my Goodreads updates, on twitter, etc. And I’m personally not a fan of livetweeting shows. I want to hear what you guys think counts as a spoiler and how you personally try not to spoil things for people online. Comment below!

 

5 Comments

  1. I really like the point you bring up of not revealing spoilers no matter how long a book/movie (or basically ANYTHING) has been out. Game of Thrones was published/released in the 90’s I believe and I saw on Tumblr once, before I started reading the books, a major character death with the caption “It’s been out for 15 years, there’s no excuse.” Um no, there’s no excuse for spoilers. Great post Sam!

    • Thanks Paige! I agree, there shouldn’t be a time limit. Its like faulting someone for not being alive when the book was published. Like a classic or something. The first read is everything!

  2. I definitely don’t think that there should be a time limit on when it is or isn’t okay to freely talk about spoilers. Whether it came out yesterday or 100 years ago, you can talk about something without ruining it for someone else who hasn’t gotten a chance to see or read it. As a general rule, I don’t think people should ever talk publicly about things that could be major spoilers. You can text or DM that! Who has time to watch or read EVERYTHING right when it comes out? No one, that’s who. When QoS came out, I didn’t get my copy right away and I had to mute SO many people who were talking about it as they read it or adding their goodreads updates to twitter. It’s so inconsiderate to people who can’t get something the second it comes out. I still figured out one of the main things I wanted to find out for myself through reading it. I also had the ending of Allegiant spoiled for me, which is probably the most tragic spoiler I’ve ever seen. It was a random comment from some A-hole on one of Veronica Roth’s instagram pictures of like a dog or something, REALLY?! I wanted to hunt them down and punch them! No one is saying you can’t talk about something you read that you’re excited about, but for goodness sake at least be VAGUE about it or SOMETHING! Great post!

  3. I completely agree. The book that was spoiled for me was about 3 years old, and it made me wonder if some thought that enough time had passed. I remember when QoS came out and spoilers were every where. Or when Winter by Marissa Meyer showed up early in some stores. Allegiant was spoiled for me as well. Its so hard to protect yourself from spoilers because they could be anywhere! Thanks for stopping by!

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