Avoiding Spoilers: Constant Battle, or Wave the White Flag?

"Spoilers!" in Gallifreyan. Image produced by program at http://www.shermansplanet.com/gallifreyan
“Spoilers!” in Gallifreyan. Image produced by program at http://www.shermansplanet.com/gallifreyan

Not having cable or satellite anymore, I’m constantly trying to avoid spoilers. Even if I manage to watch a show the very next day after it airs, on the network’s website or on Hulu, I still have to avoid spoilers from the people who saw it live. And then there are the series that I watch marathon-style, like I did last summer with The IT Crowd. There are also those that I get behind on, and have to catch up long after everyone is debating what happens next. *cough* Doctor Who *cough*

I hate spoilers. Hate them with a passion. Thus I appreciate River Song all that much more. Once I know enough about a show or a movie that I know I want to see it, I don’t want to learn anything more. I want the story to unfold for me as it was intended. But with the internet, it’s very difficult to avoid spoilers. Most people are considerate and talk about things in vague language, or they’ll give plenty of spoiler warnings so people like me can avert our eyes or skip a few paragraphs down.

I’ve just about made an art out of avoiding spoilers. If I spot the name of a television show or movie that I haven’t seen yet, I automatically avert my eyes. If people start talking about it, yes, I’m that annoying person who says, “Don’t ruin it for me please!” and then sticks her fingers in her ears and goes, “La la la, I can’t hear you!” Fortunately Rory feels the same way, so we also work hard not to ruin things for each other. He accidentally learned something about Doctor Who, for example, but kept it from me so I could fully enjoy it.

What do you all do about spoilers? I know some people, including some friends of mine, who actively seek out spoilers. They want to know everything they can as soon as they can. I guess it’s akin to reading the last page of the book first. But I like the suspense, and I like stories to unfold as they were intended.

I figure there are three categories of people, with regard to spoilers. Group one is full of people like me. We avoid spoilers as much as possible, and get genuinely upset when something is ruined for us. Group two avoids spoilers when possible, but doesn’t sweat it if they accidentally learn something ahead of time. And group three seeks out spoilers, eating up as much as they can.

Which group are you in? Is there a fourth group I didn’t think of? What is the worst thing that has been spoiled for you? I look forward to your responses, while I sit here, finally caught up on Doctor Who and Call the Midwife, keeping my mouth shut for the benefit of others.

Jenny Bristol is an Editor at GeekDad and a founding Director at GeekMom. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, losing herself in history, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.