So you’re trying to avoid spoilers about the Olympics…
Even if working from home takes out the risk of watercooler talk spoiling results for you, there are still many ways you can learn the outcome of an event hours before you see it on TV.
After all, Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of US Eastern Time, meaning American viewers who aren’t tuning into live streams are seeing some events on a delay.
So how does any smartphone user avoid spoilers without going off the grid? It’s not easy. But here are some ways you can try to be somewhat surprised when you tune in at primetime.
Avoiding spoilers on Twitter
Twitter is a big source of spoilers, but it may also have one of the best features to avoid them.
You can mute words and hashtags of your choosing. “Olympics” and “gold” would probably be a good start, plus any sport you’re interested in watching.
Click “more,” then “settings and privacy.” Hit the “privacy and safety” tab. Then click “mute and block.”
From there, click “muted words” (you’ll also see a “muted accounts” option here).
Click the plus icon at the top right of the screen and enter the word or hashtag you want to mute. You can only add one entry at a time. You’ll have the option to choose where Twitter is hiding these words from you, including your timeline or notifications.
You can also choose how long Twitter mutes these words. Thirty days from now is your best option to cover you through the Tokyo Olympics.
Hit “save” and breathe easy — unless you have other social media pages. You have more work to do.
Avoiding spoilers on Facebook
For Facebook, you have to target a specific account.
Click on the three dots on a post and you’ll see an option to snooze that account for 30 days. You can do this for an official page you follow or someone you’re friends with that you know is always posting about the Olympics.
Avoiding spoilers on Instagram
Instagram’s option is also account-focused.
To mute someone you’re following, go to their profile and click the “following” drop-down arrow. You’ll see a mute option, and from there you can choose whether you want to mute their posts or stories.
This option does not show a time limit, so you’ll have to remember to go back and unmute someone if you want them back in your feed once the Games are over.
Avoiding spoilers on Snapchat
It’s a similar process for Snapchat.
From your friends list, hold down on a friend’s name and click “more.” Toward the bottom you’ll see a “mute story” toggle that you can turn on.
Where you might run into more trouble is in the “Discover” section.
From there, click on a post from an account you don’t want to see, then click on the account’s profile at the top of the screen. At the top right you’ll see three dots which will bring up an option to hide this content. Click that, and content from that creator will no longer be suggested to you.
Adjust your push notifications
So here’s where it gets tricky.
Many news apps have breakdowns of which type of alerts you receive. Now might be a good time to check those out, as some have a sports section that you could toggle off.
The problem is some headlines out of the Olympics fall into the breaking news category, which may be harder to escape. But this is one of the risks you take if you don’t go completely off the grid.
These settings are also not temporary, so when you’re ready to get back to real-time sports updates, revisit these pages.
How to avoid spoilers in the real world
OK, so your home is now a spoiler-free zone. But what if you have to go out into the real world?
Choose your bars and restaurants wisely. Know which of your favorite local spots have TVs all over their business, as there may be spoilers on whatever channel they are playing.
When you meet up with friends or family, make it clear if you’re trying to avoid spoilers about a certain event.
Or there’s always isolation (but most of us can probably agree that we’ve had enough of that).
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.