Spoil Sport

I love connecting with others through a variety of social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, tumblr, Goodreads, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest. Each site has its own personality as well as its own efficient method of communicating. My trouble comes when my often-over-booked life prevents me from keeping up with my favorite TV shows or the latest movies. Then all these fun networking sites become an endless source of spoilers.

I hate spoilers. My loathing first began when I was standing in a lunch buffet line on a Sunday afternoon and a friend turns excitedly and says, “I saw Empire Strikes Back on Friday, and guess what? Luke gets his hand cut off and Darth Vader is his dad!” Ugghh!

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Yes, I know that Vader translates into Father, and it was pretty obvious that something like that had to happen for the good of the story, but I want to learn these things as the tale unfolds, not while picking out a side of green beans and a slice of Boston cream pie at the Sirloin Stockade.

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What does any of this have to do with social media? This week I watched Frozen for the first time. I know I’m a bit late to the ball, but I have mostly-grown sons, and no grandchildren—not a lot of people begging me to take them to a Disney princess movie. But what really slowed me down was that Pinterest and Facebook posts had pretty much given away all of the plot twists of the show. I still held out hope that maybe I wouldn’t already know every single thing that was going to happen. But alas, it had all been revealed in cute little posts from well-meaning friends.

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Yesterday I heard about a teacher in Europe who threatened his noisy class with spoilers from Game of Thrones if they didn’t behave. He’s a genius! And that’s proof that nobody likes to have their story spoiled.

All I ask—and what I do my very best to do in turn—is try not to spoil a great twist or ending for others. While we all sometimes complain that the suspense is killing us, and we hate to wait for the next episode or the sequel, we all really crave that moment of surprise when that thing that cannot happen… does. It’s what makes the story special. To be told beforehand—well, spoils it.

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading.