If there’s one thing I keep reiterating on this blog, it’s how much I hate being spoiled by anyone or anything for any new releases of books, TV shows/anime (because yes, the only TV “shows” I actively watch are all Japanese cartoons). I’ve actually tried to write variations on this topic before, but my drafts just end up being drafts and never published because I could never figure out exactly how I wanted to discuss spoilers. So today, I thought I’d explain my own reason for disliking them with an immense passion, considering I have told many of my friends that if they dare spoil anything to me, I will literally murder them.
I enjoy being surprised by plot twists. I like reading and then turning the page and see something majorly unexpected happen, then screaming ‘WHYYY” into my pillow at 3am in the morning (true story), leaving me emotionally drained and empty. It’s something I’ve come to love and enjoy about good storytelling as good storytelling will drop hints everywhere and then come surprising you when you least expect it. It’s a craft that takes time and effort to perfect, mastered only by brilliant writers and artists. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate good writing and good storytelling more than I used to, especially after many of my failed attempts to craft something substantial. It’s safe to say that I won’t be heading down the creative writing path anytime soon, but I do enjoy a well-written book or a well-planned TV show or movie.
It ruins the overall immersive experience. I love the feeling of being fully immersed into a fictional world with fictional characters that you’ve come to know and love and seeing how their story plays out. There’s that sense of being in the same world as the characters, being fully immersed into their physical and emotional struggles, and coming out on the other side along with them. Even if I know the tiniest detail of something that happens, I will get very angry at myself or another person if that person told me because I need to find out for myself what happens in my own time. For example, if my friend hints that the main character will go to the toilet during a particularly slow scene of a book, I will probably strangle my friend and then wallow in a sinkhole of misery for the rest of the day. Okay, I probably wouldn’t literally strangle them because I’m a nice person, but I will get upset (then just get over it once I finish the book and forgive them eventually)
I’ve had several bad experiences with spoilers that are mainly associated with myself seeing things I shouldn’t have, but there may have been a few instances where I have been spoiled by some other people. In the case of TV shows, there have been cases where a new episode has been released, and I just start innocently scrolling on tumblr when gifsets from the episode have appeard on my dashboard before I even have a chance to sit down and watch the latest episode. I had this experience mostly when I was watching Yuri on ICE at the end of last year, especially since the episodes would be released in the morning for me and I wouldn’t have a chance to watch the latest episode until the evening. By that point, there had be hundreds of screencaps and gifsets and several thousand text posts that were all regarding the anime that my only solution was just to not go on tumblr and exercise some self control. Other instances has also happened a few years ago with Allegiant – I was curious and wanted to scroll through the tag for some teasers, and ended up discovering what happens to Tris before I even read the book.
I understand that social media, tumblr in particular is a place where people like to share things they’re not meant to share and talk about things they can’t talk to other people about, but sometimes, I wonder what a spoiler free world would be like – probably my vision of a utopia that will never exist.
To be honest, this post was inspired by a very recent run-in with spoilers surrounding a popular book series by a popular YA author that I’ve come to adore so much. I kept seeing posts about how people managed to get their hands on early copies (either through the book supplier sending out shipments early or by other legal means), and got so damn curious that I ventured through the dangerous territory that is tumblr and accidentally read something that has STUCK IN MY MIND AND CANNOT UNSEE NOR FORGET. I am still very angry at myself and traumatised for doing so, especially since the book in question is still not released (at the time of writing this) and I cannot figure out any means to get my hands on it.
Maybe because it’s been quite a while since I’ve been majorly spoiled before the release of a book I’ve been very keen to get my hands on, and I thought I would be safe just avoiding all the spoilerly posts to find hints and teasers, but never again. This experience has left me emotionally scarred and serves as a deep reminder on why I avoid spoilers, because the world will never be the same again.
Basically, what I’m trying to get at here is that the internet, in particular tumblr, is a spoiler minefield. Just get off the internet and the world will be a very safe place until you read the newest book or watch the latest episode of your current favourite show. Also, avoid spoilers at all costs or else regret it for the rest of your miserable life.