Picture this: You're watching a tv show and your friend says, "You'll love it when A turns on B," or "Has A died yet?"

Congratulations! You have been spoiled.

Nobody likes to be spoiled. And it is so easy to be spoiled nowadays.

Watch a show an hour late or start a video game the night after it's released.


Twitter will have spoilers all over the place.

You don't even have to try to look for them. Social media and the internet in general make avoiding spoilers really difficult.

And sometimes they come in ways you don't expect it.

This is what just happened to me in a way recently.

When I was looking up a book to read, I looked on Goodreads to see what genre the book fell into.

Usually, no problem.

But, recently, I read a romance novel with the tag LGBTQ on Goodreads. This was a massive shock because the book only talked straight couples in the description. An LGBTQ relationship as a choice for the main character would not have been where I would think the book would have gone.

That one tag made the "twist" predictable.

To be fair, the book was published in 2017. I suppose I have had plenty of opportunities to read the book.

If someone told me Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father in Star Wars. I wouldn't consider that a spoiler.

Star Wars came out decades ago.

But there are some things I feel should stay a secret.

The sensation you get when a huge reveal happens is something you'll only truly be able to experience once. Yes, it may still have an impact on you later. But that first initial feeling is something quite unique. I would never want to take away someone's chance of experiencing it.

Photo by Kristina Flour / Unsplash

So here is the question.

When is it acceptable to "spoil" something?

When does something become common knowledge?

My thinking is that, depending on the situation, a week or a month is usually the norm.

Yes, I want to speak with someone about what I just watched as soon as I watch a program. But give people some time to catch up. Even if enough time has passed, always let people know and ask whether they are caught up. There may be one person who has a fantastic accomplishment in avoiding spoilers even though the spoiler is all over social media.

Safest bet? Just don't spoil it.

What are your thoughts on spoilers?

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