The problem with spoilers in the world of entertainment is one of the sacrifices we’re taking for having access to information everywhere we turn. And yet, despite knowing it’s a sacrifice, we’re placing all blame on social media users for posting spoilers before we have a chance to see a TV show or movie. Considering there’s few shows we all watch collectively as a nation at the same time, gaining our entertainment fix is a process that’s as round-the-clock as spending time in Las Vegas or New York City.
This simply isn’t going to stop, and people on social media are part of a forum where people aren’t going to stop talking. Rather than using a reflective personality and pointing blame at someone else, we’re going to have to take responsibility for ourselves in avoiding spoilers. But how can that be done when media is nearly in every corner of our living space?
You can use some creative methods to deal with the problem, or just go with the flow and view TV shows from a different frame of mind.
Time Zone Problems
Those living on the west coast of the United States sometimes feels like they’re on the opposite end of the earth when shows broadcast on the east coast get leaked three hours early. Especially for live events, one look on your Twitter feed and you see an entire play-by-play of the east coast broadcast. By the time it airs in the west, you feel like you’ve already seen everything other than maybe some details.
Until Twitter invents time zone feeds, TweetDeck currently allows a feature where you can mute tweets that use specific keywords. So if every other tweet is about an award show or a TV show you want to watch later, it can eliminate those for you, even if that might leave your live Twitter stream virtually empty.
For those who don’t use TweetDeck, your only option is to merely minimize your Twitter page for a few hours on your screen. Nobody says that you have to keep Twitter active on your desktop every second. If you need to check in for replies from family or friends, merely go to your Notifications page where the live feed doesn’t exist.
Spoilers on Media Pages
If you spend any time perusing headlines on Google News, you know that they don’t hesitate to post articles from entertainment sites giving spoilers before west coast airings. While the abstracts on those news pages don’t give everything away without reading the entire article, they sometimes can with just a few words.
Google is customizable enough where you can create filters to block out specific content for a while. You may want to avoid Google Alerts as well if you signed up for emailed content about a particular show or subject.
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Then Expand Your Entertainment Philosophy
For those who simply won’t take any initiative to block out specific media for a few hours (or maybe days), you may want to go with recent statistics that show spoilers may not be a problem for everybody. The AV Club published a study conducted a few years ago that examined whether anyone would consider a classic story ruined if they already knew the ending. It turned out those readers said they enjoyed the writing and the journey of the tale more than being concerned about the plot.
While this is considerably different from a popular TV show or movie, it may not be for some people. With writing moving up a few notches in quality on TV lately, most people could re-watch shows like “Breaking Bad” or “True Detective” and forever enjoy what’s there while knowing the outcomes.
Most people have already experienced this with such classic movies as “It’s a Wonderful Life” that now seems more compelling in the first half than the second half. The reason is because we’ve known long ago what’s going to happen later, and we can watch for clues in the first half we didn’t pay attention to initially when not knowing the outcome.
In fact, the more compelling the outcome is, the more watchable an entire TV series or movie will be in the future. There’s already ample proof of this in “Breaking Bad” and “True Detective” mentioned above.
Can people work that in to a show they haven’t seen yet? If we already knew the ending, can we watch the show for the first time from a different perspective than knowing nothing? It’s something to think about in a time when spoilers are just part of the world now where nothing is secret and just looked at from multiple points of view.