I can’t go on the internet right now. I just can’t. It feels strange and alien to have my rights stripped away, but it’s for the best. It’s for my own protection. I know this, but it doesn’t make it any easier to stomach. You get used to it, right? The convenience and habitual reaction to look things up, see how the world around you is spinning on its axis. It’s power and privilege and it’s intoxicating. It’s also a terrible idea at this second, minute and possibly for the next 28 hours. I want to use Facebook. I crave nestling into the comfy alcoves of my favourite subreddits. I’m keen to procrastinate and refresh my Twitter feed, follow and consume. But. I. Can’t.
Here’s what I know so far. I’ve seen a photo of Don Draper hugging someone. With the knowledge accumulated thus far, I have my suspicions of what this means. I’m cobbling together theories of where these strands lead and I don’t want to. If I’m to work out exactly what the above snapshot represents, it’s gonna dampen my enjoyment of the finale of one of my favourite shows. Did I say “of” enough in that previous sentence? I didn’t mean to skew all Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It gets worse and increasingly volatile that almost 24 hours have passed since the show aired. With each passing hour it becomes exponentially more likely that people will assume interested parties have taken it in. On a x/y graph you’ve got time and visible spoilers and the line looks like Dreamworld’s Tower of Terror. I have about 20 minutes left to write, then I need to get dressed and jump onboard public transport for dinner with the family and girlfriend. There is no 45 minute window available before or after to fully absorb Mad Men season 7 episode 14 with the respect it deserves. I can’t load it to my phone, plug in some headphones and ignore my fairer partner while I time travel back to fictional 1970. I refuse to deteriorate my viewing experience by stringing it between interchanging modes of transport, adopting a guarded public visage, thus closing myself off from every ounce of availability I have for this text.
Turtling, fortifying, withdrawal or hermitical behaviour. Whatever you choose to call it, that’s how I’m choosing to operate. Going off the grid in a lesser sense. I don’t want an ounce of non-essential communication until I’ve watched the episode. I don’t want to see, hear or read one little scrap that in any way compromises the impending fulfilment I’ll experience with this show. For the next 28 hours, these things will or will not happen:
- I will not go on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit. Frankly any social networking sites. Anyone who watches the show is a potential time bomb waiting to blow.
- I will not check my email for the above reasons. For all I know my mum could send me a message.
- I will certainly not check The AV Club, The Nerdist, anything on Gawker, Boing Boing, The Awl or Vice webrings.
- I will not toggle on my phone’s data or wifi.
- I’m wary of checking my phone whatsoever.
- I will steer clear of social interaction with anyone who I know watches the show.
- I will wear headphones blasting loud music whenever travelling public transport on my own or at work. I have a propensity for eavesdropping.
Is this absurd? Very much so. Am I taking my dedication to the cause too far? Entirely. Will this stop me from following through? No goddamn way. Why is it that spoilers are so poisonous to me? Why do they hold such gravity? Because I’m taking in something that has had insane amounts of care and attention put into it. Because I love and respect the creative product I’m devouring. Because this is a relationship I’ve built up over the past 7 years. Because I want to be open to every kind of passion this finale could stir up in me. I don’t want to feel cheated of my chance to fully absorb something I care about, to lose anything in the telling. I want to take in every frame of creativity on my terms, because what exists between myself and the show is not anyone else’s to impede. In this age of being told we’re entitled to the moon and stars, is that too much to ask for?