Spoilers can be hard enough to avoid even without the internet, but in this age of Twitter, blogs, chats, Facebook, etc., it can be especially difficult. It doesn’t necessarily ruin the viewing experience, but for anyone who’s ever had the ending to a show revealed prematurely or accidentally seen the score of a game they hadn’t watched yet, it can take the wind out of your sails a little. I have a way of dealing with spoilers already read, however, and while it isn’t fool-proof, it has worked for me on multiple occasions.
So let’s start off with some generic spoiler:
I can’t believe his dad was really a gorilla and that the conspiracy began in 1327.
First thing, don’t read that sentence again!
Now, do you have any doubts as to what it said? If so, this is good. You basically have to let the doubts in your mind make the memory of what you just read increasingly hazy. What was the sentence about? What was the big twist? If you can’t remember exactly, then the uncertainty of your memory can make even the things you know you read seem subject to ambiguity.
Once you’ve made your memories a sufficient mush, the final trick is to just let it go. Stop thinking about it, period. Give yourself some time, like a few minutes or maybe even a few hours or days, and don’t even let it cross your mind. Eventually, by the time you do think about it again, there’s a good chance the faulty elements of your short and/or long-term memory will have scrambled the spoiler to the point that it’s at least less of an issue.
Did I just create a guide to encourage doublethink? Well, best to just forget about that.