Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Spoiler Alert?

Hard to believe there was a time when the phrase “Spoiler Alert!” didn’t really exist. There was no Internet, Twitter, Facebook, or whatever to post what happened in a book,  movie, TV show, etc.  People didn’t go online to tell you who ended up with who in whatever book was popular at the time. Movies were able to keep their twist endings secret. And people on the West Coast were just as surprised by a character’s death on a TV Show as people on the East Coast.

But now, it seems like it is very hard to avoid hearing or reading spoilers for anything.  I personally don’t mind being spoiled (I sometimes even skip to the end of the book), but don’t worry, I respect those that do. I will try my best not to post anything I think might be a spoiler. I know there are some that don’t like them and will go to extreme lengths to avoid all spoilers for books, movies, and TV shows and I would hate to ruin their enjoyment.

I have even seen people get angry online when books come out when people post about what happens as they read or watch a TV Show.  Or when someone tweets or posts about the ending or characters from an upcoming or newly released book.  I also have seen some people, like myself, who aren’t bothered by reading or hearing spoilers. Then there are others who post or discuss things in public forums without the warning and don’t seem to be bothered by the fact that there are people who don’t want to know about key events, twists, turns, or whatever you define as a spoiler.

But that’s just it…how do you define a spoiler? Do people define it differently? And at what point does a spoiler stop being a spoiler? Or does it?

I get that major events and plot twists are definitely spoilers. Or something not mentioned in the description. But what else would you consider a spoiler?  What might be a spoiler for you, someone else might not even think twice about posting or discussing.

And when does revealing or saying something about a book, movie, or TV show stop being a spoiler…I am especially curious about people’s thoughts on this one.

For books, is there a set time limit?  Or is it always going to be a spoiler? What if an author/publisher puts it in a blurb for a sequel or posts an excerpt? Should they post a warning or just assume if you're reading it, you know what happened earlier? I wouldn't think a warning would be necessary, but I'm sure some might feel differently.

How about movies?  Is it a month after the release?  A year? 10 years?  More?  What if the movie is based on a book? What if people quote famous lines from movies that could be spoilers (um...specifically one from Star Wars films)? Do quotes stop being spoilers once they enter our regular conversations?

And what about TV shows?  In the age of Netflix, OnDemand, and DVRs, when can you safely discuss or post about a TV Show without it being a spoiler? What about older TV shows or seasons?

Is posting a GIF a spoiler? What about a quote?

These are the random thoughts that run through my mind.  Any thoughts?

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