Hello my fellow wordsmiths and page turners,

Where its always been rude to shout the twist ending at someone on their way to the movie, or while standing in a queue waiting for the latest HP novel (Yes, that’s an old reference but its still relevant). The idea of ‘Spoilers” and the way we discuss entertainment has grown increasingly complex over the last few years especially in this new(ish) internet age.

With the rise of web and social media, it’s never been easier to get information you want, but at the same time it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to avoid information you don’t want. With the way that people have become a custom to documenting their lives down to them telling the masses that they just made a toasted cheese sandwich (it was delicious by the way). Which means that there are a multitude of comments and opinions on current affairs, TV, Movies and Literature mere moments after their release. This paired with our playback culture, which allows us to watch shows whenever we want means that if you don’t see it the second it was released, you’re at risk of having elements of the plot or the entire show potentially ruined for you. So where is the line? What is a mere commentary, and what is a spoiler?

Unfortunately these are subjective as are many things, but I would say a spoiler is anything that gives away a definitive point or twist in the plot that was not first apparent in the synopsis. 

My view is, if you are unsure just don’t be a dick. If you know your friend is reading the first in a completed book series or watching an older tv series for the first time, don’t tell them what happens in the sixth or seventh book/episode. Don’t text your buddy who works on the day the serial TV show airs about who hooked up with who, or who embezzled millions from their employer and eloped with the local Swan. oh, and don’t turn your Twitter name into a spoiler, that’s really not cool. Just watch the show, enjoy it, and if you want to discuss it do it in a closed forum and ask if they have seen it first.

On the flip side of this I feel like you also need to learn when to suck it up, while it’s fair to expect people not to be dicks (see above), expecting to be insulated from spoilers forever is absolute madness, it will happen at some point. as sure as Trump’s impeachment it’s going to happen, surely it will happen? 

Also if you have waited longer than 3 month to watch something, it’s partly your own fault for not making the time to get caught up. You need to let go of the idea that it’s protected information, or at least stop getting angry about it. 

But a word of advice for those of you who are trying to avoid spoilers for the longer term. It is possible to use keyword blockers, particularly If you don’t want to hear about television shows in real time. There are a few options that come to mind that can help you with this. 

Twitter clients Tweetdeck and Tweetbot both allow users to block tweets by keywords (e.g. “Mulan” or “TENET”). There’s a Chrome plug-in called Silencer that blocks posts via keyword from Twitter and Facebook. None of these are full-proof methods mind, but as i said previously avoiding spoilers entirely is near impossible.

How do you feel about spoilers? do they ruin the experience for you? How do you deal with them? let me know in the comments

Until next time, read more books

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