In this age of binge-ready TV series, where hardcore fans can easily finish a season in 12 hours and then share details via social media before the rest of the world gets out of bed, the question of spoiler etiquette is pertinent. Is there even a place for spoiler etiquette in today’s world? Should the burden be on the spoilee to sensorily deprive themselves if it means that much to them? Has TV gotten so good that spoilers are oftentimes beside the point? Apparently, Netflix has been mulling this perplex over, and has surveyed viewers as such. The surprising results showed an extreme discrepancy between American and British viewers, with 76% of Americans saying spoilers are an unavoidable fact of life, and only 24% of Brits.
Some other amusing statistics came out of the survey. 58% of Brits feel guilty after they spoil a plot line for a friend, while only 37% of Americans consider such empathetic notions. A cultural anthropologist involved with the survey, Grant McCracken, came up with three stages of spoiling and studied separate figures for “real-time subversive spoiling,” which is apparently a term for subtly spoiling a moment as it is about to happen, i.e. “this scene’s great.” That’s a trivial topic of study for a professional researcher, you say? Perhaps, but maybe Netflix is attempting to appear as if it has the courtesy to ask when it wants consumer information at a time when other companies don’t bother.
Another interesting take on the current spoiler situation is that it might be easier to avoid spoilers and go at your own pace these days, since no one assumes that you’re caught up on the most recent episode. You’re much more likely to hear someone ask “how far are you?” today than in 2000. Back then, there was palpable pressure to keep pace, and if you fell behind a week, your only option might be to ask a friend for a synopsis. Today, everyone’s just their own form of behind. [PR Newswire]