Blog Feature

By: Jennifer Devitt on April 15th, 2014

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Social Media, spoilers and live event tweeting.

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Spoilers. Some people live for them, others avoid them like the plague. There are many of us who simply cannot wait until next week or next season to find out what will happen to our favorite character or on our favorite show (warning spoilers ahead). What about social media and live events? These days fans, reporters, and showrunners are often times "live tweeting" during events and shows. "Live Tweeting" allows fans to interact with other fans as events unfold or perhaps get more details from the show itself.

This weekend Twitter and Instagram alike were a flurry of chatter over a major event on a hugely popular show. HBO's Game of Thrones had an epic episode with a scene fans have been waiting on for four seasons. Fans of the book series had been waiting even longer. During Sunday night's episode "The Lion and the Rose" aka "Purple Wedding" fans were treated to the demise of the much loathed King Joffrey! Many fans, (myself included) live tweeted during the show. Now, I have not read the books, so I was totally stunned and elated! Fans who have not read the books did not see this coming in only the second episode of the season. My twitter stream went nuts and when searching Instagram for Game of Thrones related hashtags it was just as crazy there!

Now, live tweeting can totally ruin a show or sports event for another fan or viewer. Many individuals on the west coast were furious for the spoilers on Sunday night. I have seen many a complaint that sports reporters ruin the outcome of big games by live tweeting. You see many times reporters tweets are a few seconds ahead of actual TV.

Everyone uses social media differently. Twitter has become a breaking news source. Simply put, if something is happening anywhere in the world, there is a good possibility someone is tweeting about it. For me, live tweeting a TV show or say a Blackhawks game is a added source of entertainment for me. I have connections on Twitter that I discuss hockey with, I have other connections that we discuss certain shows. I get lots of laughter from reading others reactions to major events and love despairing with like-minded fans when something goes horribly wrong with a beloved character.

I fully understand, that not everyone enjoys live tweeting and or spoilers. I am not much of a spoiler fan, I will admit. Meaning I don't care to know prior to the episode what happened. For sports, I follow live tweets when I cannot be home to watch. So, how do I avoid spoilers when I cannot watch a favorite show live? Simple, I stay off social media. But, there are other alternatives. Google actually offers an extension called "Silencer" that will block spoilers from your news feed. I have not tried Silencer yet, but next time I have to watch late, I may give it a whirl. You see it only works on Twitter and Facebook now, so if you are on Instagram or other networks you can still be spoiled. So for me, my solution is to stay off all networks for a few hours if I cannot watch same day or at least until I finish the episode if I am just a bit behind. App developers have created many apps to block spoilers as well. One app on the market is "Spoiler Shield".

What about you? Are you a "live tweeter"? Do you have social media connections you interact with solely during a specific sports season or when a favorite show is back for the season? How do you feel about key information being broadcast all over social media as it unfolds during an event? Do you feel viewers have an obligation to fellow fans to delay any comments on shows, games or events for a set period of time to avoid spoiling another? I would be interested to hear from anyone who has used Silencer and here your opinion on it. And, fair warning, if you follow me on Twitter be forewarned that if you are a Blackhawks fan, or a fan of True Blood, Game of Thrones, Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story or Downtown Abbey I will probably be live tweeting it! If that works for you, great I would love to interact with you as it happens. If not, may I suggest you try Silencer to avoid me at those key times? Happy tweeting!