How to Punch Spoilers and Hype in the Face

I’ve talked on Twitter and on my blog about how the hypemachine affects me; it can completely throw off my opinion of a book I should have loved. Spoilers, obviously, can totally destroy your desire to pick up a book. After reading a spoiler for the second book in the Unearthly trilogy, I failed to read books two or three. I still have them sitting on a shelf upstairs unloved and I’m determined to read them eventually, but, without that spoiler, I would have followed along. Spoilers and hype can be a seriously problem of residing in the book blogging sphere of the internet.

gif some things you can't unsee

Here’s the thing, though: most of the time, it’s your own fault when this happens to you.

Bear with me, guys. The same applies to me, and I’ve been doing it to myself for years. As I’ve been researching anxiety and trying to manage it, I’ve been learning to recognize destructive thought patterns and how to take control of my situation. There will always be some unavoidable spoilers and bits of hype, but, largely, you have control over the information coming to your eyes from the internet.

gif just say no

Today, I’m going to share my methods for avoiding spoilers and hype. They’ve been effective the last few months since I put them into practice. You will have a choice to make: do you prefer to know what people or talking about or to be unspoiled/unhyped? It’s a battle of FOMO vs. a pure watch/read of your most anticipated pop culture. You must choose. And, if FOMO wins your personal battle, don’t get mad when you’re spoiled by a Twitter hashtag you were reading about the show you are behind on, okay? You decided that you prefer being spoiled to not being spoiled, so you only have yourself to blame.

Should not have gone with the audiobook

Stay Current

Obviously, the number one strategy for not getting spoiled or over-hyped is to read or watch things the moment they’re available. In theory, this works great. Read your coveted ARC the moment you get it or read the ARC-less book the moment it hits your Kindle (you had to get the Kindle so that you would have it IMMEDIATELY obvs). Watch the show as it airs for the first time; don’t DVR or wait to stream. No cable at your house? Find a friend and use theirs. (I, for example, watch The 100 at my boyfriend’s house.)

gif spongebob watching tv

Being current or ahead of the hype is great. You can be a trendsetter, take part in the flailing on Twitter as the show airs. This method can work, but it’s got some obvious drawbacks. Unless you read way faster than I do, you just cannot read every book as it releases faster than everyone else does. Then there’s the fact that some people manage to get books like Queen of Shadows early because it went out earlier in Australia, for example. Plus, if you don’t get an ARC for every single book you desperately wanted, then release day is just way too late to avoid the hype and potential spoilers. With television, time zones can be your biggest enemy, as can leaks.

Avoid All Social Media

This method also works. If you’re not on social media at all, you can avoid those spoilers. While it does work, it’s extreme. I don’t want to not talk to my Twitter friends! I mean, that’s a lot of my social life I lose when I take a Twitter break. I use this strategy sparingly. If I’m waiting for an episode to stream and it’s just a one day wait, then I might avoid Twitter until I have caught up.

gif peeking through fingers
NO PEEKING

For books, this is basically useless, because the period of hype and potential spoilers leading up to a book’s release is often MONTHS long. Some people read their ARCs the moment they get them, which can be six months or so before release. We’re all excited about books all the time, so we would never be able to BE on social media using this method.

That said, I do generally put one element of this into practice for books: I rarely scroll through my GR feed anymore. Now, you can’t really avoid the top three or so updates at the top of your homepage, but not scrolling down has greatly decreased the number of flaily advance reviews I see. Sure, I miss out on learning about some titles, but this has really helped me combat the hype. Instead of 20 flaily reviews about Winter, I saw two. When you’re marking your book Currently Reading, resist the urge to scroll down and examine friend reviews.

Don’t read blog posts or articles about the show you haven’t watched or the book you haven’t read. Clicking on that link and getting hyped or spoiled is all on you. You don’t have to completely avoid social media, just wisely skip certain things.

MUTE MUTE MUTE

Muting is your very best friend on Twitter. It really, really is. Not just to not have to see the feeds of those people whose tweets annoy you but who you feel bad unfollowing. To my knowledge, the features I’m going to share with you today still do not exist in Twitter. If you want to take advantage of this hype and spoiler-punching awesomeness, get Tweetdeck. It’s amazing.’

gif i don't wanna hear that

Tweetdeck allows you to mute specific hashtags, users, or strings of words. If you want to avoid getting information about something before release, THIS will let you do it.

The obvious thing is to mute the hashtags associated with your show or book of choice. Goodbye #The100 or #Witchlanders! That’s an easy cut to make. Mute it until you’ve read the book or caught up on the show. Simple.

However, let’s be real, lots of people do not keep to the hashtag. Muting the hashtag will save you from a lot of it, but, especially in hype, there’s going to be a lot still coming at your eyeballs on Twitter. This is where I mute certain terms, and this has been very effective.

In the lead up to Winter, I muted the names of all of the main characters and love interests, as well as Lunar Chronicles and Meyer. I did not mute the title of the book (I usually would, but “winter” is such a generic word). Debby (Snuggly Oranges) went that extra step further and muted the title too. We were both able to read and enjoy Winter unspoiled and as unhyped as it’s possible to be for the conclusion to an epic and much-beloved series.

gif i see nothing i hear nothing i know nothing

Anytime I feel myself pushing towards the hype threshold for something, I start muting those main characters, book titles, series names, author names, hashtags, and anything else key to the series. You will miss out on some tweets that might not have to do with the book or show, but, for me, it’s worth it. I went unspoiled and minimally hyped for Truthwitch and The Force Awakens doing this too.

In Conclusion

Compare that to Queen of Shadows, which I didn’t mute until too late. I still haven’t read it because I didn’t look away. That’s my own damn fault.

gif facepalm

Some spoilers, like ship changes, are going to be unavoidable. I know about that spoiler from Queen of Shadows and I don’t know that you could avoid it. To successfully dodge spoilers and hype, you’ll need to use a combination of these methods. Selective muting is the most useful but, in some cases, you’ll also need to pounce as soon as the book is released or briefly go radio silent on social media.

Basically, I cannot realistically expect people to not talk about things as they read and watch them. There’s a point where spoilers are completely douchey, but, in the hashtags, you have to expect some. You can’t control other people, but you can control yourself if avoiding hype and spoilers matters a lot to you.

Do you guys have any other tried and true methods of avoiding spoilers and hype?

8 responses to “How to Punch Spoilers and Hype in the Face”

  1. Meg says:

    I love you and this post so much.
    As far as being spoiled goes, there are very few times I’ve been seriously spoiled where I honestly couldn’t have avoided it (shout out to shows that tweet spoilers during the episode before that part of said episode airs). I hate that I’ve spoiled people for stuff and sometimes I just blatantly do it without thinking because I’m the worst but generally I try to make sure all of my live tweeting is tagged and easily mutable. Because for real, it is usually (not always) possible to avoid spoilers if it matters enough to you to dedicate yourself to it.

  2. Bekka says:

    The Larry Filter has been my best friend since I really dislike Tweetdeck. I’m able to mute out tags, terms, people, even tweets directed at people and it’s been a game changer. It means I can be on twitter when The 100 is on and I don’t feel like watching. Of course, this doesn’t help on mobile but it’s still a huge help.

    Sometimes being spoiled can’t be helped, like that asshole who @-ed completed strangers with the entire plot of Star Wars. But a lot of the time, they’re easily avoided. I do hate when I get spoiled by a live-tweeting that isn’t tagged, though I’m *sure* I’ve been that person for someone else, too. I try not to be, but like Meg said, it happens.

    I’ve also stopped scrolling through my GR feed because I noticed that a lot of people weren’t using spoiler tags anymore and muting isn’t really an option on GR. I was also, like you, getting tired of seeing review after review of a book I haven’t read yet but was still anticipating.

    Anyway, I employ all of these methods here or there. I save the twitter break for when The 100 is airing unless I am also watching it live. I mute basically everything I remotely dislike or don’t want to see. And I try to remain current on my favorite series, though I can’t ALWAYS do that. But I’m rambling now and basically I just really like this post.
    Bekka recently posted…Book Review: The Year We Fell Apart by Emily MartinMy Profile

  3. Heather says:

    I actually don’t read reviews until I’ve finished a book. When scrolling through goodreads, I typically look at the cover, read a bit of the synopsis, then see how my friends have rated the book. If a book catches my eye and you (yes, you! Haha) read it and rated at least four stars, chances are it’s going on my tbr pile because our tastes are so similar (and I will skim your reviews if it’s a three star and go by other ratings, too, but won’t read a review in its entirety until after I’ve finished the book…which may be why you get a “like” from me waaaay after you post, especially if the book gave me feels.) 🙂

    I think it helps that I don’t use Twitter, though, because it’s really easy for me to avoid spoilers…except when people post GoT spoilers on my fb newsfeed (which I don’t use as much anymore.) Come on, guys! I’m not bitter or anything 😉 lol

  4. This is such a great post! I need to figure out Tweetdeck because I think that would solve a lot of my “hype” issues (Witchlanders omg). As for tv shows, I’ve all but given up. I follow so many media outlets (of my choosing) and they all post spoilers or live tweet and it’s crazy. I’ve been completely spoiled for Arrow but I don’t know *how* certain things happen so I still want to catch up someday. And I’m banking on forgetting details or being curious enough to see how things unfold if it’s a show I haven’t watched before. I don’t know what I’ll do about the upcoming season of GoT though re: the book/show conundrum. Books I geeenerally don’t get spoiled (except when people post page numbers and statuses on twitter, grr) but the Goodreads tip is a good one. I like friend star ratings when I’m on the fence/curious about a book but saving reviews for after is a good bet.
    Morgan @ Gone with the Words recently posted…Bitsy Words: The Nethergrim by Matthew JobinMy Profile

  5. Oh man, sometimes I HATE spoilers and want to murder people who unthinkingly (or worse, purposely) ruin the fun for others. But sometimes I seek them out — actually because when I start getting unreasonably stressed out about uncertainty of any sort (oh hello again anxiety monster) that’s one of my methods of coping (can’t predict what will happen in real life, but I can figure out what happens to this character in 200 pages).

    I know it is a pipe dream, but I wish there was some kind of common “rule” about spoilers across communities… like, be extra cautious about discussing this TV show until 2 weeks after the season finale, or tag your spoilers for this book until at least 6 months after the pub date, or something like that. I mean I understand that avoiding spoilers is up to each individual, but wouldn’t it be nice to to have to work so hard at it within a reasonable time frame?
    looloolooweez recently posted…Backlist Love | Two Books about EvolutionMy Profile

  6. […] Christina tells us how to punch spoilers and hype in the face. […]

  7. […] “How to Punch Spoilers and Hype in the Face” @ A Reader of Fictions […]

  8. […] Christina @ A Reader of Fiction shares how to punch spoilers and hype in the face […]

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