Spoilers for Game of Thrones and Avengers: Endgame Reveal How Selfish We Have Become
The internet in 2019 is a minefield. No, tiptoeing through Twitter and Facebook will almost certainly not cost you an appendage or your life like a real minefield, but it could certainly ruin your day. If you are one of the poor unfortunate souls who, FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER, did not get to see the movie or watch the episode as it premiered, the internet is a merciless place. Want to check Twitter for the latest news and trends? 75% of the tweets will be about Game of Thrones, and 65% of those will reveal EXACTLY what happened in the episode THAT ENDED AN HOUR AGO. Maybe you are smart enough to avoid Twitter and instead go to a supposed sports website. No safe haven there! There is no reason for this. Well, actually, that is not true. There is a reason, and it is a sad one; we are so selfish as a society that we can no longer comprehend going out of our own way to ensure the happiness of others.
2019 is the day and age of instant gratification. With that comes a lack of patience. With a lack of patience comes more selfishness. The mere thought of waiting, and depriving our own selves of something brings pain. People foregoing instant gratification brings them pain because it is so far outside the norm of their daily personalities. Why wait and do something for somebody else when I can, ya know, just plow right ahead and satiate my own desires? Like a running back bursting through an open hole, some people cannot contain themselves when it comes to spoilers.
There was a time on the internet when people were considerate enough to post “SPOILERS AHEAD” on their articles. Some places still do that. Now though, the practice is less and less utilized. You might be reading this article and thinking, “is it really such an important thing?” Yes. It is. This “spoilers epidemic” is revealing just how selfish we are as a society. And our society is not a good one.
We have gone from a communal society centered around religious institutions and town halls to a virtual one that rotates around tweets and comments. There is no longer a sense of coming together, and while many people think the virtual realm is doing a fine job replacing the tangible one, that is clearly not the case. The mental dangers of social media are already well documented, but with each new study, it is becoming more apparent that this realm is actually causing physical sicknesses.
Social media is by all accounts a sickness and this spoiler culture is a microcosm of a larger issue. It is selfish, sure, but why do people engage in it in the first place? They do so because of the lack of real, tangible relationships. Nothing represents this better than the water cooler.
Remember the “water cooler?” If you did not see the game last night, or you missed the latest episode, you knew to stay away from the water cooler. Everyone at work was going to talk about what happened. It was actually your fault if you walked into a spoiler conversation. The rule was clearcut; if you want to avoid hearing what happened, do NOT go near the water cooler.
Those were your friends at the office. Now though, the internet provides a place that mimics the water cooler. Except, the vast majority of people you interact with online on a daily basis are in no way your friends. You might think they are, but they are definitely not. This reveals the dirty little secret of the internet at large; the internet is not the place you go to interact with your friends.
Think about it. If you really want to talk to somebody, somebody whose opinion you truly care about, what are you doing? You are picking up the phone and calling them or sending them a text. You are not sending them a Facebook message, and you are absolutely not tweeting at them. The internet is where you find all the people so selfish you would never entertain the idea of calling them your friends.
Your real friends are the people you know. The people you can go and have a drink with, and talk to and see their facial expressions change when you are telling them a good story (or, in most cases, a bad one). These are the people who would NEVER reveal a spoiler to you. The type of people nowhere near selfish enough in your relationship that they would risk dampening your mood. When you really think about it, spoilers are a great way to find out who and where your friends truly are. SPOILERS AHEAD! The internet is rife with selfish people devoid of patience. But you already knew that. The real world, on the other hand, is waiting… patiently. It is time we all returned to it.