The irony of spoilers is that they’re unpredictable. Like a disease or dramatic weather event, they pop into existence, do their damage, and drift off into the ether to infect some other hapless TV junkie.
For this reason, I deliberately shy away from discussions about shows I’m behind on, whether online or in casual conversation. For Games of Thrones fans who haven’t read the books, this is a real challenge. Personally, I just plug my ears and walk away saying “la-la-la-la!”
But according to a new TiVo survey, spoilers are a bigger problem than you might think—and not just for TV shows. The study found more than three-quarters of respondents (78 percent) have had a show, movie, or sports event spoiled at some point or another.
For 64 percent of those unlucky individuals, the spoiler in question revealed a major plot point in a TV series. For 56 percent, it was the death of a major character. Oddly, roughly one-quarter of respondents admit that they've intentionally read spoilers for a program they plan to watch.
I’ve met people like this—folks who enjoy reading the last page in a book before the rest of it—and it just baffles me. The way I see it, fictional narratives are a journey, like a hike up a scenic mountain or a cross-country road trip. Spoilers teleport you to your destination, diminishing the cumulative impact of the ride.
But perhaps I’m overthinking it. While a third of respondents in the TiVo survey say experiencing a spoiler makes them angry, 27 percent don't think it’s a big deal. And I suppose, in the grand scheme of things, it really isn't.
But what about those sociopaths who actually enjoy spoiling shows for others? A small minority of respondents (2 percent) actually admitted to this. Surely, in a just society, this behavior should not be tolerated.
So what’s the best way to avoid spoilers? Just ask nicely.
Among those who claim they feel a need to take precautions, 67 percent simply ask those around them not to give anything away. The same number avoid social media and certain websites to maintain a spoiler-free viewing experience. In fact, 59 percent blame online news headlines for spoiling a plot point. Outrageous! Down with the media!
Source: TiVo Blog