Channel Surfing: Social spoilers

Charlotte Kyle
Features Editor

I remember when TV used to be simple. It aired, you watched. This was usually one simultaneous moment. Then, the next day, you’d talk about the shows with your best friend. If it were important, you’d call each other that night.

There were, however, occasions where you were going out with your family and thus were unable to plop yourself in front of the TV.

Those were the times when you told your dad to triple-check the VCR to make sure it was set properly because “I swear, if I miss the new episode of ‘Making the Band’ I’m gonna lose it, dude.”

Then TiVo and various forms of digital recording came along and suddenly you could have a life. It didn’t matter if you had to meet with a study group or you accidentally fell asleep after dinner – your TV show was waiting for you.

I would, of course, try to watch the episodes as soon as I could, otherwise I would have no clue who was eliminated from “America’s Next Top Model” and I would not be able to contribute to the conversation with my friends.

While I enjoy the luxury of DVR – or I would enjoy it if I could afford it – I’m one of those “watch it as soon as possible” types.

Thanks to social media, I face spoilers during every moment of my favorite television shows. Twitter updates of “I can’t believe Bob and Sue kissed!” and photosets on Tumblr within 10 minutes of an episode’s end are constantly jumping out at me.

(That wasn’t a spoiler, by the way. I can’t think of a show that has both a Bob and a Sue, I just chose those names at random.)

What does this mean for me, someone who can’t necessarily watch shows live thanks to school, work or unexpected naps? This means I must boycott the Internet. No Twitter, no Tumblr, no Facebook – nowhere is safe.

In fact, as I type this column on Wednesday night my dear friend Katniss (not her real name) is texting me about how cute the latest episode of “Happy Endings” is.

I have to plan my time on social networks according to the importance of avoiding spoilers. This varies on how much I love a show and how many things could potentially be spoiled.

“Happy Endings” isn’t as popular on Tumblr as it should be so I can usually hang out on Wednesdays with no problems. The show doesn’t have many “shocker” moments, but rather just hilarious conversations that are just as funny in .GIF form before I can watch it on TV.

Thursday nights I cannot and will not go online until I have seen “Community” and “Parks and Recreation.” These shows don’t have many shocking moments either, but I just prefer seeing them on TV before I see them online.

“The Office” spoilers don’t bother me as much but it’s much easier to just watch all three shows back-to-back.

No one I follow posts about “Whitney” because, let’s face it, I would unfollow them if they did. Yes, I’m that petty.

Don’t get me wrong: I love social networking because it lets me connect with the fandom, but it’d be amazing if we could not post spoilers for at least a few hours. That’s all I’m asking.

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