How Social Networking Has Become the Ultimate Spoiler

There is truly an epidemic going on worldwide right now and it seems very few people are properly addressing it. It has happened to all of us, but we are all too ashamed to even speak of it. Every day, on every social network on the web, be it Facebook, Twitter or whatever site you choose to frequent, some inconsiderate soul posts some major plot point that ruins a movie, video game, or a TV show for someone. And even though I have been guilty of it myself on a few occasions as a result of some articles I have written, I am still not above saying it is a huge problem and it needs to be addressed before all the joy is taken out of everything.

There are very few feelings as infuriating as the feeling you get when you are genuinely looking forward to something and someone callously ruins it for you.  From something as minor as a shift in the dynamic of a relationship being established between characters to something as serious as a death of a major character, some people just seem to feel obligated to make sure they let people know about it the second that they do.

And though I do understand the joy in sharing in a moment with other people, collectively, you don’t walk out of a movie theater yelling about the ending to the people in line to see the next showing, so why has it become so widely accepted for people to spoil stuff in a similar fashion, only on Facebook as opposed to face to face?

This is what I think people who post spoilers must dress like at home.

To understand how truly far reaching this spoiler epidemic is, you first need to understand who it affects. Its reaches are felt most by people who do not have the sort of income that is required to purchase a video game the day it comes out, or the kind of expendable income it takes to go see a movie the first night of its release.

Coinciding with that, these are the same people who can not necessarily afford on-demand and in some cases, even cable TV at all. If they like a show, they need to go to a friends house or hope someone buys them the DVD when it is released. Also, people who work more than one job (like myself) often aren’t allowed the convenience of having the nights off that coincide with the night or nights that their favorite shows air.

And it affects people who are parents, who do not have the time free or have prior obligations.

And it affects people who go to school full time or work full time.

And it affects people who may work full time and devote their free time to a passion like writing or art and are not always on top of trends as soon as they happen because they are distracted by things they deem as more important.

And it affects kids who play sports after school. And it affects people who work nights. And it affects people who may be sick or staying somewhere other than their own house for whatever reason.

In other words, it affects everyone.

Spoiler Alert! These two are the same person. Oh wait, I mean….

But the question this begs is, just because they cannot afford the same lifestyle as everyone, does that mean they should be punished by having something they enjoy spoiled for them by someone who seemingly knows nothing about tact or reserve?

No, it doesn’t. And before social networking, the only way movies and games would be spoiled would be that ONE idiot friend with the loud mouth that everyone has. And generally, you learn pretty quickly who that person is and just stop talking to them because they suck, but what happens when you realize that it is WAY more than just one person, and you are surrounded by them? That is why I was brave enough to call it an epidemic.

Spoiler Alert! The Titanic turns into a robot and walks everyone to shore safely. Best. Ending. Ever!

Now understandably, people will respond to this article with ” Delete your Facebook and stop whining!” but my life does not allow me such luxuries. I am a writer, who makes a living (?) writing online, and a huge part of that is interacting with people who read my pieces and I tend to use it as a resource for me to plug my pieces and do my best to make them viral through as many networks as I can. Does that mean I should be punished?

Although spoilers have been an issue forever, the problem has become a lot more widespread as a result of the internet, and even more so in the last two or three years. Honestly, Game Of Thrones really propelled the spoiler problem to the mainstream for a lot of people. That show relies so heavily on plot twists, people would feel compelled to run to their Twitter and immediately post about some crazy turn of events that took place on the show. And NEVER posted with spoiler warnings. And now the new season is starting, and one must brace themselves, because, inevitably, SPOILERS ARE COMING.

And don’t EVEN get me started on some of the people who have read the Game of Thrones books, because their constant threats of “Well if you thought THAT was crazy, just wait until so-and-so is introduced….” has steadily become the new most annoying way someone can patronize another person in my opinion, and it is sure to suck any joy out of the show for the viewers if that particular trend continues. It should matter little, be it book or show, how about people just stop posting major plot points about currently running shows?

If that idea is too damning, perhaps we can do a statute of limitations? Maybe, five seasons or so? That seems fair. Once something has passed the five year mark, it is social network public domain? Can we all sign something and agree on this? It seems very reasonable to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand what it is like to be a huge fan of something, and for the excitement to almost bubble over, but plot reveals should be treated like secrets, be it book, movie, or video game. There are forums to discuss things openly, but all social networks in general are not the proper forum.


18 Comments

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