‘Tis the season for fangirls and fanboys alike. Great franchises are about to come to an end, big battles are to be had, and some of our beloved characters may never be seen again or will be crowned with glory. Big things are happening onscreen–whether it’s on TV or the big screen–and so many of us fans are HYPED.
Unfortunately, no matter how powerful our fan power is, we can’t all see it at the same time. Some of us will naturally see something ahead of others. That’s normal. Everyone’s got a life and things they’re worried about. The problem is when those of us who aren’t as fortunate as others when it comes to watching the newest releases are met with big fat SPOILERS.
My first reaction to spoilers? Fury. I get soooo angry seeing them on my timeline. I even wonder if I should just avoid social media at all. I don’t feel as strongly as some others do, though, because they post about how angry they are. I sort of just keep it inside me and whine to myself, even if it’s just some passing comment in a thread between friends. Still, a timeline’s a pretty public place to be discussing such detailed parts of Avengers or the newest Thrones ep.
It makes me wonder: Who should adjust when it comes to spoilers? The spoil-ers themselves or the would-be-spoilees?
The Russo brothers released an iconic letter to their fans saying that #ThanosDemandsYourSilence and not to spoil the movie for other movie-goers. They asked fans not to share spoilers or talk about sensitive details about the film so that it’d stay a surprise for everyone. It was widely-applauded (and memed of course) and thought to be a considerate move.
And we see it every Monday, too, with Game of Thrones, people reminding others that anything outside the scope of trailers is a spoiler, that if you’re going to react to the episode you should use the hashtag so you can blacklist it for the time being. More and more anti-spoiler instructions and helpful tips are shared and our list of flagged words grows longer with every iteration of Endgame or GOT.
There are those who think the other way around, that people should just be smart and avoid social media for the day because some people “can’t help” posting spoilers or at least reactions that are practically spoilers anyway (I once saw “PETER NO” after Infinity War and knew something was going to happen, I was angry). It’s “impossible” to expect a totally spoiler-free environment, even if posts claim spoilers will not be mentioned, sometimes they’re hinted at heavy-handedly.
“It’s stupid to believe that people won’t spoil,” someone said to me once while I was mid-bite into a pity-hangover-taco. And it made me think. Should I expect a completely spoiler-free internet? Do I have the right to be angry at a stray detail here or there? Do I have the energy to fight more people in a comments section about being respectful to those who haven’t seen the episode/film yet?
So who should be the one to adjust? Do we line up behind the Russos’ rallying cry of demanded silence? Or do we just accept that the internet is dark and full of spoilers? Maybe it’s a balance. We should do our part, make examples out of ourselves if we want the internet spoiler-free, and then just take extra precaution. Maybe it’s not one extreme or the other, maybe it’s a balance.
There will still be people out there sinister enough to want to spoil the film, fine. Maybe we can just be extra cautious that day, fill up our time until we get the pleasure of viewing what we’ve been looking forward to for a very very long time. We can still chastise them, sure, because they intended to ruin an experience. But for those small little accidental spoiler-exchanges between friends that seem harmless, maybe we can brush off with a gentle reminder and not start a flame war.
Internet fights are too tiring to engage in. Everyone thinks they’re right. Let’s just be good fans and not ruin each other’s lives, thank you.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments!