We are in the midst of the first Olympic games where Twitter is a factor. Twitter timelines have been filled with results throughout the day, hours ahead of the prime time TV delayed broadcasts. Radio and TV newscasts have also spilled the beans with greater frequency in 2012 than before. Despite the spoilers, people are watching this year’s games in record numbers.
Some thoughts about spoilers:
- If you don’t want to know who won an event before its delayed telecast, then log off Twitter, don’t watch TV news and don’t listen to radio news. This also applies when you record any live sporting event or buzzworthy TV show for later playback. Don’t blame others for sharing their thoughts on Facebook and Twitter. If you look, it’s your fault. Viewers on the US west coast, where many live awards shows air three hours later than in the east, learned long ago to stay off the internet before their feed’s airtime.
- Many people want to know the outcomes beforehand. Some people are more likely to watch if they know, for instance, that the US has won gold in an event.
- Spoilers have been around forever. Well, at least since the days of storytellers among the cave dwellers. Did those at the Globe Theatre premiere of “Romeo and Juliet” tell their friends about the ending? You bet! Do you think anybody in the 1800’s ever revealed key plot lines in a new Dickens novel? Of course, they did!
- In the case of certain movies, it’s best to see them on their opening weekends. Otherwise, you may learn about twists and surprises from an online source or from some friend, family member or co-worker.
- If you have a spoiler to share, don’t. This seems to be a dilemma for some film reviewers. They want to share basic plot points and memorable moments, but must be careful about telling too much. I especially hate it when a reviewer tells me about a surprise cameo by a big star—not a “surprise” any more! If you are tweeting about a TV show, be careful about what you reveal.
- If you encounter a spoiler, try to enjoy the sporting event, other TV show or movie anyway. People attend classic plays that they’ve seen many times before, just to experience it yet again. Have you ever watched a favorite movie more than once? A rerun of a classic sitcom? There are times when, if you know what’s coming, you may be better prepared to enjoy that which has been tipped off.
- Rejoice in the fact that there are people in this age of social media who can keep secrets. With so many TV competition shows recorded months ahead of airtime, it is truly amazing that participants and production crew folks do not reveal the outcomes. Of course, they’ve signed non-disclosure agreements but it’s still impressive that they are able to remain mum.
- Spoilers are a fact of life in the era of social media. See #1.