It struck me while engaging in debates on Facebook about why people insist on spoiling a huge TV event (like a Game of Thrones season finale, or any episode for that matter) Personally I think there is something subconscious at work, and if you are someone who does that regularly, I think you should do some sincere soul searching as to why you want to ruin that for others who might be at work, or out of town and had to DVR it and can't watch it. Or if your intent isn't to ruin it, then why do you knowingly do so? To preface, I live on the West Coast but I get the East Coast feed from Direct TV. So while I don't have that problem, a lot of West Coasters get inadvertently screwed by East Coasters who get the feed first. Most of us have learned to avoid the internet, but sometimes it's hard, you forget, or as I said, you are on a business trip, or at a wedding and can't watch it but are still on social media for work/posting wedding updates. Not a crime.
So, we got into a cause and effect debate. Is the spoiler poster responsible for the negative reaction of the friend to their innocuous post, intended to engage in a discussion about the spoiled event with others who already watched, if the friend happens on social media before watching the event? ie: Jill watches Walking Dead and makes a blatant spoiler post to get a conversation going with friends. Eugene is posting some photos of the wedding he is at, and sees Jill's spoilers. He's recording Walking Dead at Home because his buddy asked him to be best man. Who's fault is it? Both in my opinion. Woops Eugene, you should've known better, and dang it Jill, did you have to say something as obvious as "No, not Dale!! He was my favorite character!! Damn you Walking Dead!" I say they are both responsible. It's not all Eugene or Jill's fault.
One might say Jill is entirely blameless, and many have, but here is where I think those people are wrong. Jill has done this several times on her page and people get really mad every time, and have asked her to not do that. So, Jill by now is knowingly engaging in behavior she knows pisses people off, not just on her page but everyone she knows who has posted a spoiler has made a hand-full of people mad. 1x fine but more than once and Jill has to have some responsibility here.
I think we have reached a time for establishing some Social Media Etiquette.
~Those who can't watch a show or event when it is on, must accept the consequences of not avoiding social media from 2 hours before the event begins (at least) until they are caught up. Surf at your own risk.
~Likewise those wishing to engage in conversations about big events should seek out less disruptive ways to do so, or if they insist on doing it on Social Media then find a way to make it more vague. "I am heartbroken!" perhaps a better option to literally calling out Dale as the one who died, or even that anyone dies at all. " I did not see that coming! Not sure I will even want to watch this show anymore now" I think also acceptable.
I have tons of friends who can have entire discussions, carefully worded to not ruin it for everyone else. I actually think that is more fun, like a neat secret code talk. It's certainly more creative than, "Why did they kill JR!!!?" let's be honest, that is just a boring post, put some effort in.
(Please note, I used old spoilers from shows nobody cares about anymore because it's amusing, and doesn't exclude people who don't know what happened on the season finale of Game of Thrones last night! I mean seriously, if my above spoilers ruined something for you then this article is a waste of your time)
I get wanting to discuss shows with people, and there are tons of forums that might have better discussions, but private FB groups are an option, or post "PM me if you watched Game of Thrones!" Personally I usually watch shows like that with other people for just that reason, so we can process our grief, make speculations. A lot of the time I, cautiously, go on forums of people caught up on the books, read theories and speculations.
I just think we need to all accept responsibility for our own negligence in getting things spoiled and for spoiling them. Perfect example, anyone who has read the books could have spoiled everything for everyone long ago. They didn't, hats off to them, that is classy in my opinion. Because they understand a story must be experienced in sequence, they respect that.
(obviously, I think one side has more responsibility than another, but I also see that the other side has total validity and should be respected, feel free to comment and engage in this discussion, but please do so in the spirit of debate and conversation not with the intent to get anyone to abandon their opinion and declare you "right" AND feel free to come up with more Unspoken/maybe need to be spoken Etiquette for Social Media. I think we really need some)