Spoiler Alert

I just joined the 21st century less than a year ago and got actual TV channels. (To clarify—I had watched TV before but my apartment had zip reception and for years I had refused to pay for cable. Finally, I broke down). Now, I’ll have to admit that I’ve made social plans around Gossip Girl, Lost and Entourage.

Nowadays, it is practically mandatory to have a digital landing page for each show on the network’s site. And more and more, social networking-esque features are cropping up to allow viewers to share commentary on the most recent episode, play games to find out which character personality they most resemble and share show content via Facebook or other third party sites.

I’m all for the camaraderie these sites offer when it comes to shows like Dexter that have a bit of a cult following; the virtual “water cooler” dialogue they offer allows fans to have a more personal connection to their favorite shows and the characters they love (or love to hate). However, in other ways, social media has spoiled the experience completely for me.

Take last night’s Dexter season four finale. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the culmination of the season’s twists and turns leading up to Dex’s revenge over the Trinity Killer. However, I wasn’t able to watch the episode live last night. That didn’t stop fans from promoting the killer twist via Facebook (don’t worry, I won’t say what happened). So now, when I finally get to watch the episode tonight, I won’t be as close to the edge of my seat.

In many ways, social media allows us to stay up-to-date on any kind of news we would want. But in some cases, life doesn’t allow us to keep up and we end up missing out on the personal experience.

In short, please include a SPOILER ALERT announcement when you are talking TV.

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Update: I was able to watch the episode last night and despite knowing the ending, I still found it to be the best season finale of the series. What did you think?

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