Social Media Anxiety Disorder the Week: Specific Spoiler Phobia

Posted by Christie Szymanowski | Sep 11, 2017 | Fake News, Social Media Anxiety Disorder of the Week | 0 |

Warning: Here Be Spoilers. Okay, not really. You can keep reading. We promise to keep this a spoiler-free zone, unlike your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feed.

With summer shows like Game of Thrones and Preacher being all the rage right now, it can be anxiety-inducing going on any social media platform, because you always have the fear that some dick has posted the latest news from your favorite show that you haven’t had a chance to watch yet.

We’ve all been gutted by some jerk who ruined so-and-so’s death for us, or spoiled a climax we were so looking forward to. A casual acquaintance of mine ruined the Purple Wedding Death from Game of Thrones for me, which was arguably one of the biggest things to ever happen on Game of Thrones.

So what did I do? I passive-aggressively wrote a Facebook post about how I was fed up with spoilers and people who just include them in their statuses are the scourge of the earth who deserve to have everything that’s ever existed spoiled for them.

I didn’t mean it, of course… But I did vow to finally finish reading A Song of Ice and Fire and spoil all those wonderful little tidbits that hadn’t happened on the show yet. Thankfully, I never became that vindictive.

It took me a few weeks to cool off because hell hath no fury like a fan scorned. I know I’m not the only one. Every time I use Facebook or Twitter, I see posts warning people not to spoil shows for them. This is particularly true of Game of Thrones… Probably because you know epic shit is going to go down every episode. Because of the show’s worldwide popularity, it makes it all the more difficult to avoid spoilers.

So we disavow social media for a few days. We leave preachy messages about how we’re not going to check our accounts until we’ve caught up on the latest episode because people are jerks.

We’re afraid of something I’m going to call (in a totally unscientific, non-DSM-approved way, of course) Specific Spoiler Phobia.

So how, exactly, does Specific Spoiler Phobia work? Well, first of all, you have to be afraid of seeing a spoiler for a show you’re really, really into – not something you casually watch and will be mildly disappointed if you learn something about it from an episode you haven’t seen yet. You wanna spoil Kimmy Schmitt for me? I’ll be slightly miffed. Orange is the New Black? I’ll be positively furious.

So how do you combat Specific Spoiler Phobia? Unfortunately, as long as you have social media accounts and enjoy pop culture, this isn’t one that’s going to go away any time soon. The best course of action is to stay off of social media until you’ve seen the thing you’re afraid of having spoiled, or you can unfollow those dastardly people who live-blog every breath each character takes.

Fighting Specific Spoiler Phobia is a losing battle, but it’s one most of us will continue to fight as long as there are shows, movies, and books to be spoiled. So don’t give up. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to enjoy something spoiler-free one day.


If you or a loved one you know battles with Social Anxiety or any other Mental Health Issues, please do get the help you need. If you need to talk to someone now, you can talk to one of the many fantastic therapists at Better Help by CLICKING HERE.


This post was created with the help of Grammarly.

Photo Credit: Katrine Thielke


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