Pop Rocks: SPOILER ALERT! I Don't Care if I Hear the Ending Before Seeing Something
I'm a big basketball fan. I have been since I was in elementary school. In the early '90s when the Houston Rockets were winning titles, I was obsessed with watching the games. I had superstitions and rituals, all of which I thought would help the team. I sat in the same chair, drank out of the same glass; it was ridiculous.
I was also heavily involved in the game emotionally. I would yell at the television screen and pace around the living room of my apartment. And let's just say my remote control had to be held together by Scotch tape thanks to the numerous times I slammed it on the floor after a disappointing moment during a game.
Then, I realized something. I love the game of basketball, not a game of basketball. I enjoyed the athleticism, the strategy and the precision as much if not more than the dramatic moments. As a means of calming myself down -- nevermind saving remotes -- I began video taping games (this was WAY before the DVR) and finding out the final score before I watched. Suddenly, the games became more interesting and far less stressful.
Later, I employed that same technique as a means of watching scary movies when I knew I was going to have to partake of them. Because I don't like horror films, I blunted the fear with knowledge and I learned that, much like basketball, it wasn't the end result that ultimately kept me interested, it was the story.
I say all this as a means of explaining why I not only don't mind spoilers, but I appreciate them. After the first episode of season four of Game of Thrones Sunday night -- don't worry, I'm not going to tell you anything if you haven't seen it (except that EVERY SINGLE PERSON DIES! - kidding) -- it became clear that, where the Internet is concerned, I am in the minority.
Friends tweeted they would be abandoning the web until they were able to see the show. Websites blocked comments to avoid spoilers being unleashed inadvertently -- or on purpose. No one, it seems, wants a show spoiled before they can watch it.
The problem is that the Internet was built -- at least in part -- on discussion. It is the nature of humans to want to talk about things that interest them. But now everyone has to be overly sensitive to those who didn't watch something the night it was released. It's like child proofing your entire house because your friends and their kid are coming over for dinner. It's overkill because risk is inherent in life and on the web.
The only way to guarantee you won't read something about GOT, a game or something else waiting for you on your DVR is to stay offline. But since the average person checks his smartphone more thsn 100 times per day, that clearly doesn't seem like the answer. In which case, I recommend embracing the spoiler.
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