Spoiler Alert! Embracing the “New” Water Cooler.

Welcome to the wonderful season of fall. Football & tailgate-parties, pumpkins & hayrides, sweatshirts & campfires… new episodes of television shows & spoiler alerts.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I loooooove TV. And I don’t mean that reality crap; along with my love of football, I adore scripted dramas, dramedies (ya know, the drama with a slice of comedy like Grey’s Anatomy?) and I’m still a sucker for a well-written sitcom. TV gives my brain a chance to escape into another world at the end of a long day. My DVR is set for the new fall season… and I can’t WAIT to watch some shows so intently that I do the “buffer”. Ya know, setting a series recording for the season, but only waiting about 15 minutes after it starts to watch so you can skip the commercials?

The DVR is a beautiful thing. If I had to choose between my High Def TV & my DVR, I’d go back to a bulky square TV in a heartbeat. I can’t imagine life without my DVR.

With two kids, the record, pause & rewind buttons are some of my very best friends.

But here’s the kicker — when do you get to talk about television around the water-cooler?

Today’s water-cooler has changed. It is no longer a water-cooler. Many of us work from home now, and only have facebook and twitter to turn to in order to discuss television with our friends. Social media = the new water cooler.

Problem? Many people on facebook & even twitter will berate if you spoil the score of a game… and may unfriend you altogether if you mention ANY plot-point in a beloved television show.

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But… what’s the statute of limitations?

When can you reveal the shocking ending that = this week’s episode of Breaking Bad? Holy shit, you guys… seriously.

Or how the Lions (yes, the LIONS, that’s not a typo) game had you screaming at your TV in rage & eventual excitement when they… won?!

I know we all have lives that don’t revolve around TV.

However… some of us have been SPOILED by the DVR + social media.

The DVR is a beautiful invention that affords us extra time to skip the commercials and — get this — enjoy our lives with our friends & family.

Facebook is a wonderful way to connect with the people you enjoy about things you may feel passionately about.

And shit, just look at your FB newsfeed… we feel passion about all.of.the.things. Just looking at my newsfeed right now, there are “must-read” posts about breastfeeding, global warming, shootings, beer, music, bullies, school, anxiety, depression, going vegan, going gluten-free, loving bacon, hating Miley… need I go on? 

Then… there’s the occasional TV mention.

Something that strikes a chord so deeply within certain people that a post like that will automatically receive an angry comment in all caps — SPOILER ALERT! I’M ONLY ON SEASON 2! HAVEN’T WATCHED IT YET! LALALALA!

Hey guys, there’s this not-so-new trend called… avoiding social media.

I know, I know… it’s an INSANE concept. These days, we have screens practically implanted into our grubby little hands 24/7.

My own personal rule: if I have something preventing me from watching the latest episode of Mad Men — for example — I avoid social media until I actually do have the time to catch up. If I log onto facebook & catch a spoiler 2 days after Don Draper fucked Joan on his desk (sadly, something that’s only occurred in my fan-fiction dreams), that’s my own damn fault, and I have no right to scream at anyone in CAPS LOCK.

Most people don’t reveal a shitload on these posts anyhow. The people that get so CAPS-LOCK-STABBY over a mention of someone dying on a show that aired a week ago… well, sorry, but you need to catch up, or avoid social media until you can. We have choices, and you chose to log onto FB instead of hitting play on your DVR. #ThereISaidIt

Don’t be the angry, selfish, caps-lock dude. Be the cool, laid back, mysterious poster who isn’t online 24/7, but finds a way to post relevant, fun facts about a show you love.

I know it’s not easy.

I’ve mentioned FOMO in the past… it’s real. But what are you missing out on, really?

We CAN’T physically be in more than one place at a time. Facebook is a double-edged sword like that. We have access to every.damn.thing. You want to share-share-share when you’re participating in something awesome. And when you can’t, you want to feel like you are there, but it can be painful to know what you’re missing out on. Whether that’s a killer beer fest, a football game or beloved television show you’re missing to attend a 6-year old’s birthday party down the street. Or simply because you can’t afford to attend all of the awesome things you’d love to attend.

Life happens… and it SHOULD happen with you fully immersed into it. Not selfishly screaming into your phone (whether that’s physical screams or CAPS-LOCK, what’s the difference, really?), or documenting every second of it with your head in your phone. I worry about the day my kids draw a picture of me and my face is a rectangle with an apple in the center instead of, ya know, my blue eyes.

Live your life, friends!! When you’re spending time with actual people, look into their eyes, listen & converse. Snap a picture or two to capture the moment, then, get this, go back to living that moment.

Take a break from the social media when you have to, and absorb your favorite tv shows when you need to escape the life you work hard to lead. Join or start a FB group that appreciates your beloved tv spoilers, follow a #hashtag during a show on twitter and tweet your feelings live. Some people will converse with you, or hate you, whatever. Just take it… and live it the way you like to live. Spoilers optional.

What’s your statute of limitations on spoilers?

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