161mc – Recommended Reading – Spoilerphobia

A spoiler is a summary of an element of a film/TV show’s narrative or plot that has been revealed which threatens to give away important details. Spoilers are everywhere, online, in newspapers, magazines and more. When we get hooked to a film or a TV show we don’t want to know what happens next, you want to find out for yourself and not have it ruined by what you may have seen or heard.

Spoileraphobia, written by Laura Mayne about her experiences on film and TV series spoilers and why spoilers mean a lot to people.  Mayne begins by sharing an anecdote about spoilers. From this, she carried on to say how “everyone has a spoiler horror story” which means that everyone has experienced a spoiler which ruined the show/film for them. Spoilers are often for showcase moments such as “Kylo Ren stabbing Han Solo, his father, with a lightsaber” in Star Wars: The Force Awakens or Darth Vader being Luke’s father. The article mentions how these iconic moments are everywhere which means most times they can’t be avoided. It often occurs when new films/shows are released and are getting popular.

Having freedom with media comes great responsibility. This phobia surrounding spoilers “is a direct consequence of the complex ways in which we now consume media” which means most forms of media platforms will have a spoiler so depending on what we use we will most likely see a spoiler. With spoilers, “there is a growing expectation that if we’ve watched a film or TV series that has been recently released, we shouldn’t talk about it”. This is due to the piece of media being new and still being introduced to the public so not many have seen it, therefore, it’s spoilers to them.
This expectation of not talking about a new film can be irritating for film critics as they cannot write a successful review without revealing some elements of the plot. This is something people need to be aware of and if possible just try to avoid it as its potentially stopping some people doing their job and not everyone is afraid of spoilers, some people do want to read reviews and articles about the new film. It’s now come to a point where people will block themselves out from different media platforms to avoid spoilers, people will unfollow and unfriend people as they get irritated or have a feeling of resentment resulting from seeing a spoiler.

This article expresses how attached we have become to some types of media and how it is affecting our lives. The term “Spoiler etiquette” has been a part of the spoiler culture which are rules that are constantly being negotiated on social media. What are the limitations on a spoiler? Is it after a film has completed its cinema run? X amount of months after people have been given enough time and opportunity to watch a series? This is always going to be different for many people as some may think you should wait 6 months but some may think you should wait a year which gives people enough time to watch the film/TV series. In general, most places will say “spoiler alert” at the top before the article to warn people but in some cases, this does not exist. “This irritation around spoilers is a new phenomenon” as before it wasn’t such a big issue but nowadays it is.

Spoiler culture indicates how media consumption is changing and how society is engaging in popular culture. Society should question how seriously we take spoilers and how they affect our lives.

Laura Mayne. 2016. Why it’s time to get over our spoilerphobia. [ONLINE] Available at: https://theconversation.com/why-its-time-to-get-over-our-spoilerphobia-53237?utm_content=buffer7f5d0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer. [Accessed 22 February 2017].


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