It is 2019. I’ve already booked my tickets for Avengers: Endgame for a midweek show after the first weekend. I don’t show it, but I am counting the days till I reach the film theatre and see events after Thanos erases half of the universe. My naive self is swiping Instagram stories out of habit…and wait, what do I see? Iron Man dies? WTF.
Who is this person? Some random dude I don’t remember following.
What do I do? I remove him from Instagram immediately and sit frustrated by someone who has no idea he’s ruined my day.
21 movies and 11 years boil down to a long-lost acquaintance spoiling literally the most-awaited film from the MCU. FML. But this ain’t the first time, is it?
In 2016, when I finally started watching Game of Thrones and had just finished the first season, a friend (ex-friend) of mine thought it’d be cool to tell me that Rob Stark, a character I wholeheartedly loved by then, dies in Red Wedding, Season 3. I lash out at them, and they ask me to “chill, it’s just a show”.
Just a show? JUST AN EFFING SHOW?
Unfortunately, there are many who derive somewhat sadistic pleasure from ruining someone’s excitement. Their argument? It’s JUST a show, JUST a movie, JUST fiction.
They act oblivious to the very argument that people can be emotionally invested in their content. I, for one, am one of those who are really particular about what they are watching, including the cringe. And I get absolutely appalled by people who’re hell-bent on screaming out spoilers for a minute-worth laugh.
So no, watching/reading fiction is not JUST about anything. While I can’t speak for anybody else, let me explain why I am so sensitive about my watchlist…
If I’m investing my time and energy into something, I want an experience. I like the unpredictability of a plot, I like to delve deeper into stories, build my own theories, connect with characters, and experience every bit of their arc. Naturally, I am also a big-time crier. I cried my way through The Last of Us. The show had its source material available online, but I didn’t look at it until I completed the entire season.
Perhaps, this is because of the nature of my job or cos my educational background has been such, but I’ve always been up for good content and, sometimes, cringe as well.
That is why, when some random dude on the Internet self-anointed himself to spoil Avengers: Endgame for everyone, without any heads-up on a story captioned ‘LOL‘, I, presumably like many others on his Instagram, got pissed. Because why on Earth would you steal from anybody’s experience? That’s just mean.
By now, I know there are enough people who like to know spoilers beforehand; they actually Google them. And there’s no harm in that, given it’s literally their choice, just like watching spoiler-free content is mine.
But then, why do some of you have an allergic reaction to people like me? How difficult is it to give one ‘spoiler alert’ heads up? We won’t proceed with what you have to share, and we all can go on living our lives happily. But no, that won’t make you as happy as announcing Rob Stark’s death to a GoT newbie made you years ago. Right?
The worst bit about this is there is no humanly possible way by which we can stop the theatrics of entitled pro-spoiler followers who like to ruin good content for everybody. All we can do is guard what’s ours. And so, two important lessons I’ve learned over the years are:
1. Never scroll social media mindlessly. Especially during the days when your content of interest in trending. Like, the release of a much-awaited sequel
2. Never tell anybody what you’re watching until you’ve completed it. Well, not unless you blindly trust them
We’ll survive, people!