Tuesday, May 14, 2013

On Spoilers and The Internet

So, last night on How I Met Your Mother, we met.... the mother! I was going to post a picture of her, but decided against it because.. well, that's what this entire post is about.

One thing I love about social media is how I can watch my favorite shows and immediately discuss it with all of my blog/Twitter friends. I don't have to wait till I see my friends the next time. They're right there, ready to discuss. It's the best. Right, Emma?

When I signed onto Tumblr at approximately 8:32pm EST (two minutes after the show had gone off), there were at least ten pictures of the mother's face. I obviously didn't care, because I had been watching. But there were some angry, angry Tumblr-ers, let me tell you. Some were west coast people, some where cable-less people, and some just hadn't seen it yet. 

This is pretty common though, right? The night that Ben and Leslie got engaged on Parks and Rec, the internet went nuts. But it was the same issue that night. People were mad that the internet spoiled the show for them.

So what are your thoughts on this? I've always been solidly in the "if you don't want to be spoiled, don't get on social media" camp, but lately I've started to change my mind. If I have thoughts I want to share, but they're spoilery, I try to put them under a 'Read More' option, so people can avoid them if they choose. But is there a window of time that you should wait before you post your thoughts on the internet? Does it vary by website? I don't want to give up discussing my shows on Twitter, but I'd be willing to wait a few days before I posted something on Tumblr or Blogger.

Also, is it different for movies? When The Dark Knight Rises came out, I narrowly avoided spoilers a lot. I rarely see movies the weekend they come out (crowds? no thanks.), but by waiting, do I open myself up for it to be spoiled for me? How long should a movie be out before it's okay to discuss it openly? The weekend? A week? A month? I'm not sure.

So what are your thoughts here? Is there a window where it's considered courteous to keep your mouth shut? Or is it your responsibility to avoid spoilery things as much as you can?


Meg said...

This has always been a predicament for me... like, I'm planning a post for FRIDAY and am worried about spoiling HIMYM, The Office, or other shows from this week. I've decided that as long as I put a "spoiler alert" warning, I think I'm okay, and I think you're allowed to talk about it the next day as long as you do that. (I have to admit I wrote a tweet about the mother THE SECOND I saw her, but come on, we've been waiting 8 seasons, you had to know you would see her eventually so I didn't give THAT MUCH away.) As for movies, I think you should give at least the weekend. I don't tend to see movies that quickly, but not everyone can see them the first night they're out. Wait until Monday, then give a *spoiler alert* note.

Lauren said...

I think TV is fair game. Like you said, I love twitter for that - being able to talk about stuff as it happens. Movies take longer for people to see, so a little warning would be nice. I think you are right about different rules for different websites. I don't expect spoilers on Facebook so I get a little annoyed by those.

Kiersten said...

This is difficult, but I think it's fair game. Especially with Tumblr, it's easy enough to avoid spoilers as long as people tag things (I used tumblr savior until I watched the episode today). In the long run, there are always going to be people who haven't seen/read/heard it yet, and social media is for sharing; you can't always be worried about spoiling it for someone.
And I agree that I love being able to share right away. As soon as I'd watched the episode, I went right to Tumblr!
<3 Kiersten

Stevie C said...

Wanna know what it's like to live with Lily and Marshall? Come visit me and Terry. It's uncanny.

JMc said...

I personally just try to avoid social media if I'm worried about any spoilers. I figure you totally have the right to want to discuss what happened so I need to avoid certain sites until I either watch or get ok with hearing what happened. Now speaking of HIMYM, do you feel like there's another catch or something? I'm glad there's that strange robin, Barney, Ted situation to give them loose ends to tie up.

Dani said...

I think that as long as people mark Spoiler on it, then it should be fine. I couldn't watch HIMYM the other day so I watched it online. I just avoided social media so I wouldn't end-up seeing the mother's face.

Heather T. said...

I personally think spoilers should be kept to forms of social media where you can give someone an option before clicking (aka "read more" or even on Facebook...putting spoilers with a bunch of asterisks before saying anything) - it's really hard for me when I get off work at 10 PM on Sundays to not go on Twitter until I catch up with all my reality tv and shows. I literally could not go on Twitter for three hours until I finished the Survivor finale on Sunday night and it made me sad.


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