Spoilers, the Importance of Story, and the Value of Kindness

Game of Thrones is back on, which means one thing is on my mind more frequently than usual lately (besides dragons): spoilers. Of course in the age of the internet, spoilers are always an issue, but the more mega-popular something is, the more problematic it becomes due to the sheer volume of people participating. I can’t get on Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit these days without risking the latest episode being spoiled. I’ll be blunt: I find this infuriating.

Even people who don’t overtly post blatant spoilers still end up spoiling. I mean, on a show like GOT where so many characters die, writing a tweet that says a character’s name plus a frowny face is a pretty obvious spoiler, you know? Not to mention that if five people I follow tweet vague not-quite-spoilers they often come together to paint a clear picture of the episode. I also find this infuriating.

‘Spoilers’ has always been an important topic to me – even pre-social-media boom. Other people seem largely unbothered by them. Some people even seek them out, googling for leaks and insider gossip as to what’s coming in their favorite show or series. Obviously not everyone reacts as strongly as I do when something they love is spoiled (although to be fair, many do, because “spoil” is an inherently negative word), so why are they such a big deal to me?

After perhaps more introspection than I should’ve given such a thing, I’ve decided that it comes down to two things. 1) Story is unusually, perhaps disproportionately, valuable to me. 2) Kindness is one of my highest-valued traits in people.

Stories, by and large, are treated and talked of as somewhat frivolous and occasionally even negative things. Soap operas, notoriously looked down on, are called “stories.” Someone making up lies is “telling stories.” Even in positive lights, stories are treated as casual pastimes, easy entertainment, just for fun. I’ve realized that, somewhere in there – or maybe always, who knows? – stories became more important than that to me. I mean, really, my job is telling stories. They’re my passion, one of my primary modes of learning and communication, my favorite vehicle for art, my entire career. For better or worse, stories are not just fun for me; they’re an enormous and valuable part of my life.

Add on top of that that I’m unabashedly fond of what some might consider old-fashioned morals. I think about life and people in terms like integrity, honor, and kindness. I realize it might make me sound hopelessly sappy, but I think kindness is a form of casual love, and I think we all should strive to show it to each other. Courtesy, at minimum, is something I believe everyone deserves. I guess that’s what spoilers come down to, for me. Whether someone takes stories as seriously as I do or just gets passing joy from them, it’s still joy. Part of the pleasure is in the surprise, and when someone else (who’s already had the opportunity to enjoy that surprise) ruins it for someone who hasn’t, I find that rude. I find it discourteous, unkind, and just rude.

Now, some people like being rude or mean or whatever. The people who tweet “so-and-so dies” obviously have nothing in mind but ruining someone else’s experience, and there’s really nothing to do about that. Some people simply don’t value kindness, or don’t contain much of it, and that’s the way the world works.

But not everyone who tweets/Facebooks/whatevers spoilers is trying to be unkind. I think most people are what I think of as “thoughtless spoilers.” It’s someone who’s watched the show and wants to discuss it, which is a natural inclination, and posts their thoughts for public discussion without even necessarily thinking about the fact that other people might not have had the opportunity to see it yet. They might also occasionally be someone who doesn’t value the surprise elements of stories, and doesn’t realize that it’s a big part of the joy for other people.

The most compelling argument I’ve heard, though, for willful spoilers, is that it’s not their responsibility. Obviously, because of my stance, I tend to see this as a “not my problem” attitude, which isn’t cool to me, but I’ve heard some compelling arguments in the other direction. Some say, If you don’t want spoilers, don’t get online until you’ve finished it. It’s not my job to censor myself because you haven’t read/watched the thing in question. I take issue with this argument because the people purporting it often portray their detractors as whiny. And I guess if you want to see me as whiny for not wanting my entertainment spoiled, that’s your right (just like it’s my right to see you as kind of an asshat for wanting to spoil it).

But I do see their point. Maybe I’m just unlucky that because of my job, it really isn’t realistic for me to ‘just not get online’ for a week or two or five until I’m caught up on all of the shows/books I care about. Are those of us who can’t avoid them just flat out of luck? Still others place a certain amount of ‘courtesy time’ on the issue. Say, wait one week after something is released before allowing spoilers.

That doesn’t work for me either. I see almost no time limit on spoilers. Aside from the fact that not everyone has ample or consistent leisure time in their life, what about newbs? There are some stories (the original Star Wars trilogy, for example) that have become so famous for their spoilers that there’s no hope of saving someone who hasn’t seen them. But even then, what about the younger generations? What about someone going back to read the classics? Jane Eyre might’ve been written well over a century ago, but that didn’t make it any less thrilling for me when I got to the twist as a first-time reader in my early twenties.

I’m not proposing anything extreme. I’m not even saying that it’s anyone’s job or obligation to withhold spoilers. I’m just saying that it’s kind. It’s a courtesy. If you’ve had the pleasure of watching or reading something that brought you joy or pleasure, why would you take that away from someone else who hasn’t yet, but might? It’s still possible to discuss these shows, movies, and books without putting others at great risk of stumbling across spoilers. In my opinion, Twitter isn’t the place for it, where anyone who follows you will see everything you say. Sure, they can unfollow you if they want (and if you tweet spoilers, I absolutely will), but the timeline is too easy to trip across. Same with Facebook: unless I unfriend or unfollow, I just have to risk being spoiled. Why not save the spoiler-filled discussions for forums, threads, or blog posts with notices at the top so they aren’t quite so public, somewhere you’d have to click into to see rather than accidentally come across?

Anyone can say anything they want about any show, movie, or book out there. If you want to talk freely about surprising things in the stories you consume, no one can stop you. I’m not saying you have to think about spoilers. I’m not even necessarily saying you should. I’m just saying… why wouldn’t you? Is it really that difficult a consideration to give?

I’m not being snarky, here. I’m genuinely asking: Am I just hopelessly old-fashioned and idealistic? What do you all think? Do you agree with me, or do you think spoilers are no big deal?

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  • Carie Juettner

    Regarding spoilers, I’ve mellowed with age. They don’t bother me nearly as much as they did when I was younger. Of course, I also didn’t have to contend with social media back then, just friends letting things slip either accidentally or on purpose. Usually I like experiencing things unspoiled, but sometimes the wimpy part of me enjoys having a heads up when something really troubling is coming. The thing is, where do you draw the line with what is called a spoiler? With Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, simply hearing a character’s name in a future season is a spoiler because it means they haven’t died yet. If you know a person really well, just learning whether or not they LIKED an episode can be a spoiler because you know what/who they like. And your comment about Jane Eyre having a twist? That’s a form of spoiler too, because when you know a twist is coming, you watch for it and try to predict it. I think we’re all guilty of it to some degree. I agree that it’s mean to spoil things on purpose though.

    • This is a very thoughtful comment. You’re right that the line of what counts as a spoiler is somewhat arbitrary. For example, I wouldn’t generally consider any of the three things you just listed as spoilers (although I can see how someone might). I guess like anything else, everyone decides for themself, and that’s part of the frustration. I might be annoyed, but wouldn’t be *mad* at a friend who accidentally let something slip, whereas I sometimes get mad when people post blatant stuff on Facebook. I generally try to scroll through with a cautious eye, and if I see a character name or whatever on a show I’m not caught up on, I try to skip over it. (Sometimes it doesn’t work.) I also care more/less depending on the story in question. Spoilers for books are way worse than TV shows, for me, because I invest so much time in reading a book, while a show is usually just an hour long.

      • Carie Juettner

        I think it helps that I watch so few TV shows these days. And we’re usually a whole season behind so we have to just filter what we can and enjoy the rest. 🙂

        • Yeah, that’s nice. We got rid of cable, so we don’t care about most of the popular shows, but we still watch GOT and some of the Netflix originals. Those are problematic too, because they release the whole season at once, and I guess a lot of people binge-watch the whole thing. That sounds like fun, but we rarely have time to do that, so the whole season can be spoiled before we even get to the first couple of episodes. 🙁

    • Peggy

      Interesting comment! When I’m watching a series on Netflix I like to check out the episode first because some topics just don’t interest me. I’ve had things spoiled by watching the little episode descriptors, which sometimes say too much. And, yes, sometimes looking at them seasons ahead does let you know that a character is still alive or is now a ruler, etc.

      • This is another interesting facet: spoilers in the actual advertising/marketing. I’ve noticed that the little episode descriptors sometimes spoil things too. WHY would the creators do it that way?? That seems so bizarre to me. I just don’t read them now.

        Related: one of my biggest pet peeves in the world is when movie previews show too much to try to get you interested. I know money is king and all they want is for you to buy a ticket, but oh man am I pissed when they spoil important things just to make an extra buck. I once went to see an AMAZING horror movie racing toward a really gripping climax only to realize in the final scene that I knew what was about to happen because they’d put it in the preview. They literally put the final shot of the whole movie in the preview! Still mad about that one!!

      • Melissa Crytzer Fry

        By the way — I agree with you about episode spoilers and with Annie about movie trailers that tell TOO MUCH. Or when book reviewers tell the entire plot. Duh. We want to experience it ourselves (I’ve stopped reading book reviews that summarize the entire book. I want reviews that give me opinions and the readers’ overall take on the themes/messages)! Sorry if this was covered later in the discussions.

  • Caitlin Cunningham

    I like how you categorize the different types of and motives for spoilers. I agree it’s not all malicious but still unnecessary. While spoilers don’t bother me (mostly because I have terrible short-term memory that by the time I get around watching whatever was previously spoiled, I’ve forgotten), I wouldn’t ever intentionally do it to someone else and keep discussions of media offline and in person. I do remember I spoiled the end of Steel Magnolias for you once, which I still feel bad about.

    • Peggy

      Ha! I spoiled a book for her years ago, so don’t feel bad:) Being on the receiving end of spoilers is so frustrating! As a former “spoiler”, I can attest to the fact that not all people do it on purpose – just the really mean ones! Some people are just ADHD, ditzy, or simply not thinking. Nowadays, I’m more aware, especially in the internet age and try not to do it. But doing it deliberately? Hard to imagine why anyone would be that rude…

      • Haha, you guys! Stop it! I didn’t write this to call out anyone who had ever accidentally spoiled something, lol. 🙂 We’ve all done it at one time or another. I know many people don’t do it on purpose, and it’s certainly a forgivable mistake.

        Believe it or not, though, some people really do it deliberately. I’ve actually seen the tweet I used in the example: “So and So dies.” God, that one was brutal, because I was just sitting down to watch that episode. People that live-tweet watching shows is problematic too, especially if they’re in an earlier time zone than me. They think, “Oh my followers can watch along” without realizing I’m an hour or two behind them. (Or had recorded it to watch the next day, etc.)

        • Peggy

          Oh boy, this reminded me of the ultimate & most hurtful spoiler of my life. When I was in labor with my first baby, a nurse who examined me said, “I think it’s a boy”. When I tried to act unconcerned & said, “you think so”, she smirked & said, “yep’. I had refused an ultrasound (30 yrs ago) partly because I didn’t want to know the sex, and had made it all the way just to have her spoil what I considered a natural surprise. And, yes, it was a boy:) I don’t think she was a mean person; I think she just wanted that moment of “superiority”, for lack of a better word. This is a long-winded way of saying maybe most of the people who spoil books or movies are just needing to be the “one with the news” and don’t even really think of the others at all:)

          • What a heartbreaking story. 🙁 I’m so sorry. Real life spoilers are way worse than fiction spoilers! Your assessment of her is thoughtful and generous, though. I’m sure you’re right that she wasn’t trying to be mean, but still, how upsetting to you.

    • Oh my gosh, please don’t feel bad about that. I’d forgotten you even spoiled it. Honestly, I don’t even like that movie, so it’s really no big loss. 🙂 I envy your short-term memory on this one account!

    • Haha I spoiled the twist ending of the book, “Hannibal” for her! it’s one of Stephen King’s favorite endings. lol. I felt bad until I remembered that book is almost old enough to vote. So..¯_(ツ)_/¯

      • That one was rough. Not only is the ending totally unexpected and totally different from the movie; the book was actually in my to-read-soon stack. 🙁 That’s why timelines for when spoilers are “allowed” don’t make sense to me. Who’s had time to read all the classics/everything they could ever want to get to? Not that I think you were *trying* to spoil Hannibal for me or anything — I think you were just WTFing so hard you had to share — it’s just a good example. I still like you. 😉

        • Timelines for spoilers are super important! How long is someone not supposed to talk about something? Decades? Half a century? Longer? What if during casual conversation someone mentioned the ending of romeo and juliet, but the other person didn’t know? Would they have a right to be angry? I think there should be some guide so a) people can comfortably talk about things and b) person can accept that fact that spoilers are inevitable

          Yeah i was SO WTF-ing so hard. You read SO MUCH I totally thought you already knew.

          • I do read a lot, but no one’s read all of them! (That’s not gonna stop me from trying though, haha.) And yeah, I still advocate no timeline; I advocate case-by-case consideration. Romeo and Juliet is different; it’s kind of like Star Wars in that it’s SO famous for its ending that it’d be near-impossible not to know. That said, I’d still try not to talk about it in front of kids in school who might currently be reading it, for example, just in case they hadn’t put it together. But almost anyone in America who’s gone through public school has probably read R&J, so that’s different to me than, say, assuming someone knew the end to a non-school-assigned classic.

            Spoilers are inevitable, sure, but that doesn’t work for me as a reason for people not to give others’ enjoyment consideration. Death and taxes are part of life too, but we’re still allowed to rail against them when they’re unfair. 😉

            But seriously, of course I’m not at all suggesting no one should ever talk about old books or classics. That’s one of my favorite pastimes ever! In-person it’s easy enough to start the convo with “Has everyone seen __?” or “Does anyone care if I spoil ___?” Even online, I’m just saying I’d rather people not talk about the surprising twists and endings in a highly visible place. There’s a huge difference between sharing the ending of Jane Eyre randomly on Twitter and discussing it thoughtfully with people who know what they’re getting into. If someone wants to write a blog about it, that’s totally cool because I can just not read it. But when someone tweets it, I can’t avoid it unless it’s worth unfollowing the person over (and even then, it’s too late for that one). Know what I’m saying?

  • Carie Juettner

    What about spoiling something WHILE watching it? My husband and I do that to each other sometimes. One of us figures out a clue or a plot twist or something and can’t help but shout it out. (Because it’s cool to feel smart.) The other person usually isn’t mad, but kind of disappointed that they didn’t get the extra five minutes to work it out. What are the rules in your home? Is TV/movie watching a no-talking zone? Or a free-for-all?

    • Haha, this is definitely something we’ve talked about it. Studying plot and stuff as much as writers do, I tend to guess what’s about to happen more often than my hubby. 🙂 But no, we like talking about stuff while watching. If one of us figures out a potential/probable spoiler, we just ask first. We’ll say, “I think I know what’s going to happen,” and the other person will either ask what or tell them to hush, haha. Works pretty well for us!

      • Carie Juettner

        Good system! 🙂

        • Peggy

          It is a good system:)

    • Peggy

      There you go again: “Because it’s cool to feel smart.)” 🙂
      Deep down, most of us want to be the smart one, the superior one, the one with the news! 🙂 Great example – a pet peeve of mine, maybe because I’m a slower thinker.

      • Carie Juettner

        It’s ok to be a slower thinker! Sometimes I think slower thinkers get more enjoyment out of things because they’re less likely to ruin the surprise for themselves. 🙂

        • I think one of the greatest tragedies of being a writer is how many things are ruined by really deeply understanding plot, story structure, characterization, etc. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spoiled things for myself. =/ Obviously I wouldn’t trade it, but I do miss the days before I’d done that kind of study and books/movies regularly surprised me. Now when one does it’s an especially pleasant treat, though. 🙂

      • I think you two are really onto something here. If the types of spoiler people were in a chart, “wants to be superior” probably goes right beside “wants to discuss” beneath the upper category “isn’t thinking about other people.” Doesn’t make it any less frustrating, but it is always nice to understand people’s motives!

  • Veronica Schultz

    I have no problem at all with accidental spoilers stemming from natural conversation. People talking about stories is one of the main ways they gain popularity, allowing the creators to make a living off their art, and perpetuating the creation of more stories. If I have to miss out on a surprise every so often, that’s worth it to me. However, I have no respect for the type of person who spoils things on purpose. If they’re disrespectful enough to do that, I see it as a clear indication they don’t care at all about other people.

    • I wouldn’t say I have no problem with accidental spoilers, but I certainly forgive them. I think your perspective is interesting, that discussions including spoilers are part of spreading stories. I don’t see it that way because I’m less likely to read something someone has spoiled for me, not more, but I guess other people might not feel that way. That’s definitely something for me to chew on. Thanks very much for sharing your take, Veronica!

      • Veronica Schultz

        I didn’t mean the spoilers themselves spread the stories, but the conversations definitely do. I just see the accidental spoilers as a necessary evil in order for discussions about stories to exist. People aren’t always aware they’ve given something away, or able to stop themselves fast enough when they get excited about something. Also, what one person considers a spoiler, may be a trivial detail to someone else. So, in order for the conversations to exist at all, there will have to be spoilers sometimes. I’ve started watching lots of shows and have read lots of books because people were talking about them, and I definitely wouldn’t want to miss out on something amazing because people were afraid to talk about it–which is what often happens when they’re worried someone will get mad if they spoil something.

        • Oh yes, I do see what you’re saying. That’s sort of like what Carie was saying above, about “spoilers” in general being a little vague. What counts and what doesn’t, etc. I guess I’m mostly talking about larger-scale spoilers (mainly big twists and the actual endings). Those, I think, are fairly avoidable even in conversation; a quick “have you read it yet?” is enough to know, for example, what’s okay to share. But the smaller ones needed to entice someone, etc. — I’m totally with you on that. Sometimes those *are* the things that will interest someone to begin with. Great points!

  • Social politeness and consideration has definitely faded with the upsurge in online participation. And not just about spoilers, but about all manner of personal opinions. People post a lot of rants these days and thereby alienate many of their “friends.” I wonder if anyone will ever get that there’s such a thing as over-sharing, and “friends” on FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc. are actually barely acquaintances and not really friends at all. Diplomacy is dead and it’s the Rise of the Trolls!! :O

    • It certainly feels that way sometimes. I think maybe people haven’t actually changed, but the internet magnifies everything. Who knows? I guess there’s also the false sense of anonymity that people get online. I bet that some people who post intentional spoilers would never say the same thing out loud in a room full of people. Trolls indeed. =/

  • Melissa Crytzer Fry

    If you’re old-fashioned, so am I. And one word in your post sums it up (and left me in stitches): asshat. Yes, asshat.

    • Asshat happens to be one of my favorite words. 😉

      • Melissa Crytzer Fry

        You made me remember a spoiler that pissed me off beyond belief — and it was by an aunt who seemed to relish in things like that (or perhaps she was so lacking in empathy that she didn’t understand why she could anger people in such a way with such idiotic actions). At any rate — I was in college and had planned a surprise for my grandmother who had suffered a massive stroke (she was paralyzed, unable to speak and only make ‘me-me-me’ sounds. She did, however, seem to understand us). The family had been estranged for YEARS, but I organized that all of her 16 grandchildren would come to her house on Christmas eve, only to find out that my aunt had told her that day that we were all coming. I was livid! Why? Why do that? I asked her, and she looked at me like I had fifteen heads: “I don’t understand why you’re so mad,” she said… Talk about an asshat. She still IS.

        • Peggy

          This just broke my heart:( So typical of “people like that” (passive/aggressive?) to claim not to understand, “why you’re so mad”. Yeah, life can hold a lot of spoilers…

          • Melissa Crytzer Fry

            Thanks for your empathy, Peggy. Have a great weekend.

        • That’s just terrible. It sounds like some kind of power play. The person who reveals the “knowledge” gets that sense of power, you know? I’m so sorry. She sounds awful.

          • Melissa Crytzer Fry

            You’re right. She hasn’t changed! And you hit the nail on the head: power play!

  • We’ve had this discussion before but I’ll put my 2 cents here. I don’t have a hard fast rule for spoilers. It really comes down to an individual piece of entertainment. There’s of reason for my madness 🙂

    1) Emotional impact – I’ve read all the Walking dead comics but I spoil myself constantly during their filming. Who’s on set, who isn’t. That show can be so intense, and I deeply care deeply about characters and plots so it makes the impact of deaths/story lines a little easier to bear if I know what’s coming. I want to see what’s coming so I can prepare myself for the emotional devastation.

    2) Keepin’ it all straight – But take Game of thrones. I have never read any of the books but I’m all caught up on the show. I get easily confused because there are so many characters/backstories, etc that I can’t keep track. I spoil myself to keep everything straight lol I don’t generally have big emotional attachments to the characters or plots. (exception: The Viper, Hodor, Tyrion)

    3) Soo hungry – I freaking love Hannibal. I spoil myself silly because I’m hungry for it. I wanted to keep track of filming, plot because there were so few episodes a season, and such big breaks between seasons. There is no end to my appetite for this show. I want it ALL. lol I’ve read all the source material, fan fiction, and it’s still not enough.

    4) Preserve the journey – Shows like Outlander and Penny dreadful I try and keep myself spoiler free. Outlander has been around since the early 90’s as a book series but I try to avoid any all spoilers. But because it’s been around for almost 30 years, I don’t get mad if I’m spoiled because it’s been out so long. On the other hand, I want to experience it as it unfolds as a TV show. I will read the books along side it or after the fact to get another deeper version.

    Penny dreadful is such a beautiful unique thing that I want to experience it as it unfolds as well. Luckily both shows aren’t huge blockbusters (which is also part of the draw) so being spoiler free is doable. The bigger the show the less likely I am to watch it. The more popular something is (i.e. breaking bad) the more I know spoilers will be unavoidable.

    Also..this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwrvDwIw5is

    • It took me a while to realize you’re talking about spoiling things for yourself. Yeah, that’s a really cool breakdown; I can follow your reasoning on all of those. I would never have any issue with spoiling things for themself, only for other people. If that’s how you like it, I think that’s cool! I see your take on Hannibal spoilers as a little kid sneaking to see what their Christmas presents will be — pure impatient excitement. 🙂

      And I’m not clicking on that video. I’m scared. Is it a master cut of every spoiler for every popular thing I might ever want to watch? (Only half kidding.)

      • Oooh yeah. I don’t purposefully try to spoil people. I just get super excited and walk to talk about things. lol There’s no way I can ask everyone on FB/social media if they have seen it. I’ve gotten better about being more cryptic or hiding it. No it’s not a master cut. More like a skit about how there’s too many spoilers and basically this conversation lol

        • Oh I know you don’t! You’re way too kind and thoughtful a person for that. 🙂 Okay, I’ll watch the video.

          Re: Facebook, one thing I’ve seen is people do is post something like this:

          Spoilers for Game of Thrones
          .
          .
          .
          .
          .
          and then writing the spoilers down lower. Since FB hides the bottoms of long posts, you have to click to read. It’s not fool-proof because if one of my friends comments, it might show up in my feed anyway, but if I see it early I can “hide” the post so I’m less likely to see it. So that’s a nice option! So is being cryptic or vague enough that only people who’ve already watched will know.

  • Funny that you mentioned Star Wars in your post. I actually was pretty impressed with the lack of online spoilers when The Force Awakens came out. I mean, I’m sure they were out there somewhere. But Star Wars is sacrosanct in so many ways that, in the first few days before I actually saw it, I read endlessly online about the film yet no one ever spilled the beans. I agree that spoilers ruin good storytelling but I also am pragmatic about it. Meaning, even though I shouldn’t HAVE TO avoid online discussions about upcoming films and even though I know people SHOULDN’T spoil them, I know people do….whether out of unkindness or just obliviousness. I won’t take the high road in this case. Experiencing the emotional impact of storytelling is just too important to me so I avoid online discussions if I’m afraid I’ll find out something I don’t want to.

    • That’s true, actually. The newest Star Wars was weirdly protected in a bubble of passion, and that was really cool. (I was just referring to the original 3 and that famous Darth Vader quote that reveals the twist.) It’s nice when fandoms come together like that to protect their own; I wish more shows/movies/books would carry that attitude. And I do the same as you, when possible, and remove myself from potential spoilers AMAP. Unfortunately sometimes it just isn’t possible, as someone will post one in a weird place or say it aloud in person, etc., and that’s always disappointing.

  • Peggy

    I can’t believe CNN has a related & amusing article this morning, called Spoilers: The ultimate Relationship Revenge at:
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/06/health/spoilers-relationship-revenge-trnd/index.html

    It’s quite entertaining with funny quotes such as, “Usually, we don’t do this, because to do so is to be a majorly anarchical jerk.” and “It seems more and more jilted lovers are finding this to be an elegant solution for heartbreak.”

    • Wow, that was funny and depressing at the same time. “Weaponized spoilers” sounds melodramatic but is kind of what they are. And “suddenly we’ve stolen something from someone without touching a thing” is really spot-on. Their chart at the top is actually great, too, except for green-lighting all of Twitter. I guess I’m the exception because I consider it a necessity for work and most people think of it as a frivolous for-fun-only platform. 🙁

  • I’m so torn on spoilers. Sometimes I really do want to know because I cannot stand the wait. I remember how I used scour the internet looking for spoilers on Lost while it was airing because there used to be HUGE amounts of time between seasons. But then after reading something I’d have that immediate jolt of disappointment that it wouldn’t be a surprise when I eventually got to watch it.

    • I never would’ve pegged you as a willful self-spoiler, Nina. For some reason that strikes me as cute. 🙂

  • Cynthia

    “kindness is a form of casual love” This is the most beautiful definition I’ve come across anywhere, Annie, hands down.
    I prefer my ‘stories’ unspoiled as well. But have to confess to the bad behavior of occasionally blurting out an ending while watching movies (which of course leads to massive shushing lol).

    • Thank you, Cynthia! I think everyone has that urge. Carie mentioned that above somewhere too; I think it has to do with the satisfaction of figuring it out first. (And I wonder if that’s related to online spoilers, too.) That bothers me a lot less than spoilers ahead of time, for some reason.

  • Crystal Colleir

    I tell you what, this is a difficult one for me. I review all the books I read, and NOT giving anything away can be beyond difficult. Usually there is a work around, but I do get the whole spoiling thing. People have strong emotions. Reactions. They need to vent–even if it’s a simple as a single word and an emoticon.

    • Reviewing without spoiling *is* difficult sometimes; I totally agree. Some reviewers just go ahead and spoil, and I don’t have any problem with that as long as they give a warning at the beginning so I can skip that one if I know I want to read it. And yes, I suspect you’re right that people just want to vent sometimes.