I mean, come on, Twitter is not a new thing. I learned several years ago to avoid my feed on a Thursday unless I wanted to discover who had been voted out of the latest episode of Survivor that had just aired in the US ahead of watching it that night. And I never wanted to discover how the tribe had spoken before seeing it play out for myself. You see, I’m spoiler-phobic and that’s when my heavy usage of social media (Facebook and Twitter mainly) turns problematic. But as I say, I’ve learned when to log off or put my phone away.
I’ve realised that when a new season of Orange is the New Black drops, I’d better binge like crazy lest I want a major plot twist to be ruined. Even someone tweeting something like, “I won’t spoil anything, but a major character dies in Season 4, Episode 12 and it’s so sad. "#realtears,” is TMI for me. Because then I’m just waiting for the fatality to happen instead of it coming unexpectedly and being all the more impactful. (Apologies to anyone who’s really behind in OITNB.) So I’ve learned to binge fast and keep off social media until I’ve reached the end of Episode 13 each year.
It’s all about taking responsibility for your social media activity. Yes, we all like joining in the online conversation when there’s a big meme-worthy moment (or season-ruining anti-climax) on The Bachelor. But if you don’t want to know that – spoiler alert – the Honey Badger chose no-one before you see him shatter the hopes and dreams of two women he was more than happy to pash – then wait until you’ve watched the finale before signing in to your profile and joining the pile-on.
But as careful as I am to balance my social media use with my TV viewing, even I can have things ruined for me. Like with new British drama Bodyguard. (No, it’s got nothing to do with the Whitney Houston film of almost the same name.) When the series, which is available on Netflix on Wed., Oct. 24, aired recently in the UK, my Twitter feed was flooded with comments and raves. Clearly, I follow a lot of British people. Instantly, my expectations were raised. I tried not to read too much – did I mention I hate spoilers? – but I’d already decided I wanted to watch the show asap.
Then, the finale aired in the UK and, without going looking for them, I saw numerous posts about the finale and how it had disappointed many. Did I want to bother investing in a show that would leave me similarly unimpressed with how it concluded? I’ll watch Bodyguard – it’s kind of my job to – but thanks to social media, I’ll be expecting the best … and then the worst. Social media: sometimes you just can’t win.