In this day and age, spoiler filled trailers and conversations are a dime in a dozen. Here are some tips on how to not get spoiled.
1. One and Done
Decide on one video about the movie and watch only that. Be it a teaser trailer, a person reacting to a trailer, a featurette for your favourite or more interesting character – watch one and then put it aside. This reduces your exposure to possible spoilers while allowing the marketing team and video editors to whet your appetite for the movie.
Sounds hard? It gets easier with time and determination. I can’t remember which movie it was that spoiled the ending in the trailer, but I do remember being furious about it. To me, it showed a lack of ability on the producer, director and the trailer editors to create interest and mystery around the movie so that movie-goers would watch it.
I tried quitting cold-turkey, but I missed watching it for studying material and entertainment, so I went back to watching and slowly weaned myself off of it. My M.O. is to watch the teaser – shorter clips = less spoiler – and then maybe 6 – 8 months later when I’ve watched the movie, I would go back and watch everything again. It’s different for everyone who tries this.
2. Underscore and Explore
This is actually a technique I learned from taking Organisation Communication, where we discussed how companies should and would react in the face of change. This is the most effective technique. Basically, you have to work towards making this change (spoiler-free life) a success by allowing yourself to explore every option to make it successful.
One of the biggest hurdles towards being spoiler-free is being spoiled when communicating with people in your life. A friend of mine completely cold-turkeys whatever show he really wants to watch because he wants to go in with zero preconceptions, so we often end up talking about theories rather than the actual plot-line. You can do this too.
Tell people around you in a respectful tone that you don’t want to be spoiled. This could also be an exercise in weeding out friends and fakes – people who respect your boundaries will leave you be – as well as learning to create a boundary if you’ve never made one before.
3. Do Something Else
Parents and comedians like to complain that millennials and Gen-Z don’t know how to communicate anymore. So when you don’t want to be spoiled, it’s time to flex your communication muscles. Sure, it might seem like a shock when you actually talk to your friends instead of texting them (joke!). And when you actually surprise your parents, it will feel so much better.
If you don’t like to talk, then take up a hobby or reignite interest in an old hobby of yours. There is always time to do self-improvement. If you’re the spoiler, then this is a good time for you to walk a mile in your spoiled friend’s shoes. Ask yourself calmly and respectfully – how does it feel when you anticipate something as much as they did, and have that anticipation be dowsed upon with unnecessary or unneeded spoilers?
4. Expectations vs Reality
Ever heard of the phrase ‘ too many cooks spoil the soup’? This is a real phenomenon – I can vouch for that. I watched BumbleeBee and Aquaman last year. Prior to BumbleBee, I had watched several videos to see if it was worth my time. When I came out of it, the videos affected my appreciation of the movie, and I came out thinking it was only an okay film. My mother, on the other hand, thought it was ‘pretty good’.
But when I went in to watch Aquaman after only watching the teaser and avoiding everything else, I came out with an entirely different opinion on the movie compared to most of the critics, who labelled it as ‘silly’, ‘corny’ and a bunch of other things I don’t remember.
I loved the movie.
When you don’t watch too much of the marketing being pushed out, you get a genuine experience of the film. Not how the people who make it wants it to be seen, but a connection between you and the story you are watching unfold that no one can take away from you. It took me a very long time to stop parroting what critics say and start watching movies for my own entertainment and enlightenment.
5. Just Keep Swimming
Finally, if you can’t do it with one movie. There’s always the next! As Dory says, ‘Just keep swimming, swimming/ What do we do? We swim, swim, swim…’
Have a nice day ahead!
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