NO SPOILERS! Top Tips for Avoiding TV Spoilers
In a moment you can go from blissfully enjoying your day; the warmth of the sunshine, the scent of fresh flowers, the melody of a passer-by plucking a harp, then all of a sudden - dark clouds emerge, thunder crashes down, evil descends on you. You’ve just been told a game-changing spoiler.
Whether you’ve been on edge for months over the latest Game of Thrones or dodging the scores to watch a sports match on delay, the 21st Century’s ultimate first-world problem is a guaranteed mood wrecker.
Let’s have some context. Nobody is physically hurt. Lives haven’t been completely ruined. But if your thoughts are occupied and your emotions are invested in something - spoilers are brutal.
You’ll never know how you would have reacted to the twist, the shock, the reveal. It could have been the best screen moment you’ve ever seen. There’s every chance you’ll go through the five stages of grief:
1. Denial - NOOOOOO. I must unhear this spoiler immediately. How can I make myself forget?
2. Anger - You did this to me. There will be retribution. It will arrive with fire and fury.
3. Bargaining - Perhaps the spoiler was a lie/a mistake/an exaggeration? Probably not though.
4. Depression - The entire show is ruined. I might as well read all the spoilers and not watch it.
5. Acceptance - I will watch, but every moment will be tinged with bitterness and regret.
If you want to feel the thrill of the purest, untainted drama, you have to make sure you tune in spoiler free. You CAN make it happen by following these steps:
Do not accept failure
Many spoiler-soilers (hell-demons who disregard spoiler etiquette) say things like ‘you have to accept you are going to hear some spoilers’ or ‘just watch it live’. Some even say ‘stay off the Internet.’ In the age we live in, that’s totally unfeasible. But don’t buckle to the nay-sayers. It is possible. We can get through this. You just have to believe and stay strong.
The mute button is your friend
Social media is not a complete no-go zone, but precautions must be put in place. Twitter offers ‘muted word’ options, so does Tweetdeck. Browser plug-ins like unspoiler and word blocker can also help create a spoiler-free environment. Make sure you enter all related words, hashtags and phrases - with spaces and without – for cast-iron security.
Don’t even go there if you see “*Spoiler Alert*”
Those two words are the forbidden fruit. You want it so bad and it’s within reaching distance. In one click, the secrets will be unlocked. You crave it, yet you know the consequences. How can you be denied something which you desire so much!?
Temptation is a cruel beast. It’s so easy to be scrolling through a gossip column, a news hub or showbiz website and see those two oh-so alluring words. This is when you have to dig your heels in and stand firm. All will be revealed eventually and in the most glorious way. Also - shun comment sections at all cost.
Work on your hand-to-face time
Anywhere near 1.3 seconds is a reasonable reaction time to whip your fingers in front of your eyes. Train yourself to be quicker. It takes a flexible wrist and a taut bicep.
There are times while scrolling online that you’ll need it. Any slight inkling that you might be peering at something related to what you are trying to avoid - whip out this eyesight-blocking move. You can then navigate carefully around the outside of the page to safety.
Take up a new hobby
This might sound like a stretch, but anything which takes you away from spoiler danger-zones is a useful activity. Especially if it occupies yours hands like embroidery, origami or puzzles. When you think about scouring gossip sites, quickly reach for a Rubix cube.
Avoid water cooler chat
It is a big sacrifice, but one that has to be made. In places where there are no topics other than the Bachelorette, Survivor, Masterchef or whatever the latest Netflix drop is, you are going to have to steer clear.
Grab a litre bottle or a glass jug, add some ice cubes, and keep a day’s supply of h2o on your desk. That way you only have to risk running the gauntlet once per day. Try not to make eye contact. Like a commando – head down, straight in, straight out (camouflage is optional).
Come up with excuses to quickly leave conversations
Conversations can change directions quickly. One minute your yoga partner is telling you about breathing exercises or the barista is recommending the latest blue algae latte and before you know it, ‘it’s like that scene in…..’ *spoiler alert*’
You need to be prepared to get out of there quickly. Memorise a list of believable escape plans. Use whatever scenario works best for you. Here are a few to get you started:
- "Oh no, I left my car doors open"
- "Really sorry, I have to get to the cobbler before they close at 12"
- "Is that the time? I really need to pick up my dog’s prescription"
Develop a sixth sense
You may read this in jest but you can train your hearing to identify keywords, even at lower volume. If your mind is constantly focussed on the title of your show or the teams involved in your match – it will alert you when overhearing any danger zone or red alert situations.
This is the ultimate level to attain to be best placed for a spoiler-free existence. You cannot legislate for a spoiler fiend ambushing you with a selfish outburst. Of course, that is unless there is actual legislation passed…
Source: NSW Police Force on Facebook
Note: The Bachelorette, Masterchef and Survivor are broadcast on Channel Ten.