By Doug Vanderbilt

Jar Jar BinksOk, not really, but that would be a pretty cool twist, right? Yeah, maybe not so much. However, we all know “that one guy” that set up his tent and camped out in front of the theater two weeks ago just so he could be first in line to see the newest episode: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. THEN, the next morning, Mr. Happy Pants comes back to the office to show how cool he is and share with you all the goodie good about the movie’s plot twists. I hate that guy.

Siskel and EbertSo, hop in my wayback machine set to May 25th 1977. There I was, all of (almost) 9 years old, opening night, with a matinee ticket in my tiny hand for Star Wars. Back then there was no Episode 4, no A New Hope, no misunderstood Jar Jar Binks – just Star Wars, period.

1977 was a time of innocence, way before the 24×7 exposure and information overload led to meme-induced comas. Back then, the only source for the 411 on current movies was Siskel and Ebert and their two yay or nay thumbs. There was also an unspoken rule of respect for those who had yet to see a movie and the two thumb guys were very careful to not give out any spoilers or crazy plot twists.

Star Wars SpoilersNow with Twitter, Facebook, and 24-hour news, spoilers seem unavoidable. “The Google” gives us unfettered access to such vast quantities of information that it is very likely we will be exposed to a virtual version of “that guy” blogging way too much about a movie we might want to fully experience for ourselves. But fear not, my young Padawan. There are ways to slow down the Dark Side of accidental spoilers without completely unplugging ourselves from society (like the Time Magazine article on spoilers may suggest).

Now the good stuff…

If you are using the Chrome browser by Google on your Android or PC, there is Force Block: the Star Wars spoiler blocker. Force Block is a free browser extension that uses a database containing words and phrases associated with The Force Awakens. After installation (just a few clicks from the Chrome Store) the extension is up and protecting your browsing from the evil forces of the Dark Side.

Force BlockIf the extension detects any reference to the plot of the new movie, the screen will darken and display a Star Wars themed quip, thus protecting you from accidental exposure to tainted information. You are given a chance to continue anyway (at your own peril) and also to white list that page as a safe place to go in the future. If you plan to use Google or check your stocks on CNN, I am afraid you will be on your own as Star Wars right now is all encompassing.

I installed the extension on my Pc and it performed exactly as advertised. Facebook was black screened when I loaded my page with a Star wars meme on it and a quick google search for “Star Wars” made the trusty search engine go black. None of this is permanent and you can uninstall the extension as soon as it becomes safe to browse again.

Untitled4There are a few other low tech methods to limit your exposure that might not involve driving to an abandoned gold mine in Montana to hide underground until the hype passes over. BuzzFeed has “A Surefire 59-Step Plan to Avoid Star Wars Spoilers” that is worth a visit, if only for a good laugh (involves a Montana gold mine). And finally, doing a simple google search on avoiding Star Wars spoilers will reveal some simple steps and suggestions that might help you avoid “That Guy” and his merry clan of spoiler minions.

May the spoiler Force field be with you.

 

Doug VanderbiltDoug Vanderbilt

With 25+ years working in the technology sector with a combination of educational and technical support consulting, Doug is committed to delivering the right solutions and services for clients and business partners.  dvanderbilt@network1consulting.com or 404.997.7644

Network 1 Consulting is a 17-year-old, IT Support company in Atlanta, GA.  We become – or augment – the IT department for law firms and medical practices.  Our IT experts can fix computers – but what our clients really value are the industry-specific best practices we bring to their firms.  This is especially important with technology, along with regulations and cyber threats, changing so rapidly.  We take a proactive approach to helping our clients use technology to gain and keep their competitive advantage.

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