How to avoid spoiling movies or TV shows for everyone else

WITH the popularity of streaming networks such as Netflix, Hulu—and a whole lot more—the game of how people watch movies or TV shows has drastically changed. The technological evolution brought about by these streaming networks allows people to watch season-length TV shows in one sitting. People’s favorite movies are made more accessible compared to traditional cable TV subscriptions. While this may have a lot of advantages, its downside made the crisis of spoilers more rampant than ever.

A spoiler is universally defined as a person or thing that divulges something about a movie, TV show, book or video game to people who have yet to know about it. Spoilers ruin the experience of watching a show or movie and make watching it a little less exciting, since people already anticipate what happens next.

However, as much as we want to hate spoilers, the people behind them are humans too. Perhaps sometimes, their emotions come in a roller-coaster rush and they can’t help but share their excitement with everyone else. Here are some guidelines to help you avoid being the most hated spoiler in your school, office, family or group chats.

1. Warn people ahead by saying, “Spoiler Alert!”

Considering busy schedules, not everyone has the luxury of time to watch the recently released episode of “The Game of Thrones” or the premiere day of “The Avengers: Endgame.” If you just can’t stop the urge to share a significant scene of the movie, at the very least be nice and start by declaring: “Spoiler Alert!” before saying or posting anything. Always remember to ask someone if they have seen the movie before talking about it. Let them feel the excitement the same way you did. Don’t spoil that for them.

2. Don’t share spoiler “memes.”

Just because most people are already talking about it, doesn’t mean everyone should know too. A lot of “memes” claiming to be “spoilers without context” are circulating over social media. Most of these provoke the people’s thoughts and end up stating something that might be obvious and then ruin another person’s experience. Better yet, stop sharing these kinds of memes whether or not you think they’re potential spoilers. Spoilers without context are still spoilers.

3. The “It-happened-in-the-book” excuse is not an excuse.

Who would have thought that the “Great War” between werewolves and vampires against the Volturi would actually be enacted on the “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2” movie? People in the cinemas whose jaws dropped and were shocked with the scene knew it never happened in the book. What happened in the book could always change in the movie according to the screenplay writer’s discretion. Spoiling a movie because “it happened in the book” is still spoiling.

4. Silence—just keep quiet.

Above anything else, even with these guidelines, one still trumps all the others: to remain quiet is in every case superior to ruining or spoiling. Keep the excitement to yourself and give those around you a courtesy week to watch it before getting spoiled. Also, think about how you would feel if the roles were reversed.


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