Yup, that’s right, I said it. You’re welcome to start gathering the stones to throw at me now, but maybe, just before you do, try hearing me out.
This is a topic that people feel very strongly about, and for some, my opinions on it will be just as bad as me calling their mothers ugly, but it’s also something that I feel very strongly about and because of that, I’ll take the risk. Back when I first started contributing to the blog I wrote an article called “Is it safe to say I love the Joker yet” and if you don’t feel like reading the whole thing, let me summarize:
Basically, I called out the people who feel like just because they might have liked something before you did, that they obviously like it more than you do and thereby they should have full monopoly over that fandom forever.
You’ve all seen those people around social media, they are the ones posting things like:
“I see all these people saying they are excited for Young Sheldon BUT can they tell you what color Sheldon’s socks were in episode 6 of season 9 of The Big Bang Theory were? I don’t think so. I’VE been excited for Young Sheldon for 2 years already. I’M the REAL fan. You all can sit down.”
Now this is just the first example my frustrated brain could come up with, and it may seem like a gross exaggeration, but it’s something that I see almost every day online. The words they use might be slightly different to mine, but the intention behind those words, they are exactly the same.
The problem behind this, is not only segregation but also alienation. Can you imagine if that same thought process used by these apparent ‘fans’ was used elsewhere in life? Can you imagine never feeling like you could share that brand new slice of cake you just tried for the first time or a picture of that cute little coffee shop you discovered, because unfortunately for you, unless you were the first person in the world to have been there or tried that particular slice of cake, your opinion and your excitement is irrelevant, unwarranted, and unwanted.
Using my previous Young Sheldon example, not only are you not entitled to express your excitement BUT you also need to make sure that if you really MUST express it, you do so in a manner that doesn’t lead towards anything that you may have SEEN in said trailer, why? Well because those before mentioned “fans”.. they might not have seen it yet.
I honestly believe that the biggest threat to the entertainment industry is this concept of “spoilers”, and yes, I see you there with your stones, but just relax, I’m almost done.
If you look at art, and yes movies, music, games, books, and tv shows are all just different forms of art, the whole point of it is to make people talk. Good art wasn’t necessarily the art people liked the most, it was the art that started the most conversations between them. So with the burst in social media, it was only natural for people to move these conversations to the online world, and that’s exactly what they did.
I remember back when “Live Tweeting” your favorite TV shows was this huge thing, I used to sit in traffic with my mom driving me home from Film School reading some random I followed live tweet How I Met Your Mother because I didn’t want to miss out. Those were good times. Those times, or those people, are also not gone, they are just so used to being ridiculed and berated online if they DARE to say anything about anything that someone else hasn’t seen yet that they rather keep quiet. They no longer talk, and when the conversation stops, the art dies.
I’ve read the justifications from the anti-spoiler crowd, and it always comes down to “if you say something about X and I haven’t seen X yet then you’ve ruined MY experience”, but I just can’t believe that that’s true. Sharing excitement and talking about your favorite thing doesn’t take away from anyone’s experience, it adds to it.
I present this argument:
I stayed up to watch the Floyd v Mayweather fight with my partner, and for the longest time we had problems connecting (I was watching through the American system that was having problems) so I went on Twitter and I was flooded. Everyone that was watching was live-tweeting again, and I don’t mean just a simple “I’m watching the match” tweet, no they were issuing proper play by plays of the entire game, and it was magical.
By the time that ref had called the match, I don’t think there was a place online that didn’t have a full rundown of the match and that wasn’t shouting the winner from the rooftops. But you know what, the re-run of the match that ran later that day? It was trending. Because even though people who couldn’t watch it at 4 am already knew who had won and almost every detail about the match, they still wanted to experience it for themselves and join the conversation.
That’s just one example. I mean hell, TV shows even spoil themselves most of the time, just last week The Big Bang Theory posted a HUGE spoiler from their episode which had aired just an hour before in the States to their social media, but you know what? I’m still excited to watch it.
At the end of the day, I believe that nobody should ever have to filter their excitement for others’ excitement. As with most things in life, art is better when shared and shutting these people up doesn’t do anything to help build up the strong and vibrant community I know that we are and can be, instead it tears a community apart. Don’t become one of those bitter online trolls that the outside world warns us about, left sitting in a room alone, hoarding everything you find ‘pretty’ to yourself just so that you never have to share.
Instead, do me a favor and try embracing it, a moment of joy experienced only by you is great, but a moment of joy shared with others is legendary.
And finally, to those of you out there who want to shout: climb the rooftops and shout loud – our fandoms need you!