All morning, my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been filled with people upset that they saw spoilers on Facebook and Twitter about last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Everywhere I look today there are a lot of “Thanks a lot!”s and “You guys suck”s and “Whatever happened to warning ‘SPOILER ALERT!!!’ first???”s. Sorry, my beloved friends and family members. I can’t believe I still have to explain this to adults in 2015, but…
There are spoilers on social media. This is especially true on Must-See-TV nights. And this is most certainly especially true on nights of shows where the network and the show’s creator have not only foreshadowed the “shocking ending” for weeks, but they have repeatedly run ads on television and social media warning you that something huge was going to happen and just how big it was going to be. Heck, it’s not even that hard to figure out from the promos what was going to happen.
|Source: Grey’s Anatomy Facebook Page
But you didn’t know anything was going to happen last night, right?
Not to mention, anyone who’s paid attention to media reports already knew that a certain someone committed a cardinal sin in Shondaland—the kind of thing that almost always gets you booted off a Shonda Rhimes show. Apparently, this person didn’t learn any lessons from Isaiah Washington (who at least managed to get himself not killed and was invited to guest on a subsequent episode), Katherine Heigel (don’t let the door hit, you Izzy!), and Columbus Short (RIP, Harrison!). Anyone who is a fan of Shonda Rhimes’s shows know that she does not suffer fools lightly.
But, apart from this one incident in particular, how—seriously, how—do people not know in 2015 that the last place you need to hangout, if you’re the type of person who hates spoiler alerts, is on social media??? Complaining about seeing spoilers on social media when you voluntarily have looked at your newsfeed on an immensely popular television night—particularly one that has been advertised as “changing everything”—is like bitching about getting your hair wet because you left the house without an umbrella when you knew the forecast showed a 90% chance of rain. I repeat:
Sorry, but this one isn’t on your Facebook friend and Twitter follows. If your enjoyment of one of your favorite shows was ruined because you looked at your newsfeed before you watched the episode, to quote Raven Symone, “That’s your fault, boo-boo.”
One of my friends (probably the only one with a potentially palatable excuse) runs her business off Facebook and explained to me this morning that as much as she tries to avoid social media on nights where spoilers are heavy, it’s hard to do that and run a business. I get that, I do. But (as I explained to her) you can use Facebook and Twitter without looking at your newsfeed. Maybe this is conceited of me, but I’ve had entire weeks where I’ve been active on Facebook and haven’t seen my newsfeed once. I go straight to my own profile page, my groups, or the pages of people I feel like seeing that day. Same with Twitter. You can search for hashtags or certain Tweeters or simply just post your own updates and never look at anyone else’s. You can answer Facebook messages without ever looking at a newsfeed, and, in fact, if you are using Facebook Mobile, you don’t even have a choice in this matter, because Facebook now forces you to use the Facebook App and Facebook Messenger separately. There is absolutely no excuse in this day and age for being outraged by spoilers on social media when you have voluntarily put yourself in a situation where spoilers abound.
Some of the comments I saw this morning had people claiming they saw 12 (you heard me, 12) spoilers on their newsfeed last night. Assuming this number is true and not an exaggeration, that person went trolling for spoilers on her newsfeed. In fact, anyone who saw more than three spoilers went trolling for them. With the way Facebook is setup these days, it is impossible to see more than three alerts on your newsfeed at a time (yes, even without pictures). One person even claimed she clicked a link to an article about the episode and was “so upset” that the headline after she clicked spoiled the episode. SERIOUSLY??? Look, if you don’t like spoilers, then avert your eyes when it becomes apparent you’re in dangerous territory. Continuing to scroll through your newsfeed just hoping and praying the next post won’t be a spoiler or, goddess forbid, clicking on news articles about episodes you haven’t watched yet, isn’t the smartest way to avoid something you allegedly hate.
This is social media, folks. Social. Media. The entire idea is for people to interact and engage about their interests, and, yes, sometimes that means they are going to be reactionary about what they are watching on television as they are watching it. If you don’t want to engage, then, until you’re prepared to have that discussion with the rest of the world, maybe you need to unplug?