Spoiler Alert: He's Leia's father, too. Copyright 1980, Lucasfilm

Spoiler Alert: He’s Leia’s father, too.
Copyright 1980, Lucasfilm

I was going to title this piece “Spoiler Alert: Am I The Only Sane Man?”

It’s probably a battle I’m going to lose to the excited, the enthusiastic, the ignorant and the selfish, but I’m going keep fighting as long as I can.

I’m probably going to be accused of being a cantankerous fogie who needs to just get with the times and embrace what social media is or just stop using it (as if those at the only choices. Also, I’m only 38).

It’s already been suggested that I lighten up, they’re only TV shows, so who cares?

I do. I also have greater priorities in my life, but the desire to simply not have TV series I like spoiled from week to week should not be too much to ask.

I feel like one of the people in the line up to see “The Empire Strikes Back” as Homer Simpson walks out ahead of them saying, “I had no idea Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father.” Of course, every time I suggest to my Facebook Friends that they refrain from spoiling an episode of a show before I see it in the days after it airs, several invariably joke that Vader was Luke’s father. Yeah.

A good friend says by internet consensus 24 hours is the grace period. After that, apparently spoilers are allowed to roam to free. I couldn’t be bothered looking this “rule” up, because even if I find 20 other sites disagreeing, that single citation of an arbitrary, made-up rule is enough for some people.

I don’t get it. I honestly, truly don’t. We gave up one of the basic, most fundamental pop culture courtesies, that of not spoiling the latest show, for what? So we can prove we’re on top latest thing? Because we’re just so damned excited we can’t keep to mentioning that awesome line that character said? I guess there’s the argument that social media is, well, social, and that people do discuss these things in real life. Yeah, they do, but in real life I’m not standing in a room full of people presenting me with a stream of information on their interests. In real life, we ask, “Did you see the new Walking Dead?” If I answer no, my friends refrain from spoiling it. Yet, the same people, the very same people on Facebook or Twitter joyfully post teaser images, quotes and spoiler-filled posts without checking if everyone about to receive that information is as up-to-date as they are. In person, I can put my hand up and say, “I haven’t seen it! Stop right there!” I can’t do that to an image you decided to show all your Friends.

So, why don’t I just unFriend them or stop following them or get off Facebook or Twitter? As I noted above, why are those the only choices? Why can’t people control themselves and show a bit of discretion? For Facebook, I want to know of other aspects of your life and interests, that’s why we’re here, just show some mercy with these kinds of posts is all I ask. Better yet, don’t discuss anything plot or character related on Facebook. I don’t. It’s easier than you think. As for Twitter, I’ve un-followed people for spoilers. I stopped following one of the producers of The Walking Dead because she revealed several seasons ago that an actor was returning to their role in the upcoming episodes. That was all it took.

Am I Grandpa Simpson yelling at a cloud? I don’t think so, but I’ve had that joke made, too.

I do feel like I’m the only sane man here, yet to be consumed by the here-and-now mentality of popular culture that drives so many posts.

Everyone’s doing it, so it must be okay, right?

[sigh]

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