Don’t you just hate it when you’re listening to someone emphatically describe a film or TV programme they have thoroughly enjoyed and then they utter those fateful words “…and at the end…” Whoa there! Please don’t spoil what could be an enjoyable entertainment experience for me and many others who have yet to find the time to sit and watch.
This is increasingly becoming an issue for many viewers due to the rise in popularity of social media sites. Recently people are finding themselves with TV tourettes, developing an inability to stop themselves shouting about their favourite scenes in the latest viewing extravaganzas on Facebook, Twitter et al.
This isn’t just happening after the event either, people are tweeting during the shows and this can have an especially devastating impact for viewers in different time zones! In a recent article on AdAge Mediaworks, which endeavours to show the role social media is playing in the evolution of TV, a comment was made that made me sit up and listen.
“We did a survey of our 10,000-person TV-fan panel last year,” said TVGuide.com’s General Manager Christy Tanner, “and what we found is that 20% of them said they are watching more live TV specifically to avoid ‘social spoilers.’”
Yes! I may be biased being an employee of a company that makes a product specifically for live TV but this certainly could be the sign of things to come. In an age where you can watch things when you want combined with the rise of instances of companion screens accompanying the viewer, live TV is one of the few safe havens that the viewer can retreat to that can’t be spoilt by others who have previously seen it.
There have been studies into whether spoilers actually spoil a programme which conclude that they don’t have an impact on enjoyment but I’m afraid to say that I must be in the minority because I want the full experience of watching event unfold before my eyes and getting swept away in the suspension of disbelief.
The rest of the article on social media’s impact on TV is very enlightening and depicts the methods that are being developed by TV companies and how they are judging success. It also shows how social media sites are fast becoming the finest form of review as people trust their peers on such topics more than the fella who wrote the TV column in the Bramley Advertiser or whatever local rag you have the pleasure of perusing.
Anyway, tonight I think I’ll watch Terminator, you know the one where John Connor sends his best friend back in time to save his mother from a robotic assassin who then falls in love with her and ultimately becomes his father. What? You’ve not seen it….