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!