Resolve Not to Be a Television Spoiler in 2014

In the age of Netflix, DVRs, TV on Demand, Hulu and next day availability on iTunes, make a resolution not to be that guy in 2014.

You know that guy—the one who exclaims how television episodes ended with no regard for whether you wanted to watch it on your own and be surprised

Here is an example:

That guy: Do you watch Popular Television Show?

Other guy: Yes, I love Popular Television Show.

That guy: Did you see the season finale?

Other guy: No, not yet.

That guy: They killed Beloved Character!

Don’t be that guy. Have some restraint. Just because you have cable and were free during the first time an episode broadcast doesn’t mean all of your friends and co-workers were too. You may be dying to talk about it, but no one will ever want to discuss television with you if you can’t exercise a filter.

Many viewers prefer to let a few episodes of their favorite show stack up on their DVR so they can have a mini-marathon rather than watching hour by hour a week apart. And a growing number of young adults with televisions are forgoing cable in favor of Internet streaming. They may watch the episode a day later or months later.

Please, give your friends a chance to catch up with you.

Even if you are of the opinion that spoilers are fair game the second an episode has finished its premiere broadcast—you are wrong, but I’m trying to work with you here—you can at least give your friends in other time zones a break. At 10:01 p.m. EST, if you immediately post on your Facebook wall who died and how it ended, you have just screwed over your friends on PST who are still waiting for the episode to begin.

And even your vague Facebook statuses can be major spoilers to anyone with an inkling of intuition. The status “Beloved Character!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” is just as bad as “I can’t believe they killed off Beloved Character.” And the last quote of an episode, however vague you may think it is, can have your friends figuring out the ending before the first scene.

Sure, resolving to eat better, spend more time with your kids and go to the gym at least twice a week are all important New Year’s resolutions, but add this one to the list too. The world will be a gentler and kinder place if you do.

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