Here’s the Thing About Tweeting Television

Boiling Point

Some big time shows are finally back on the air and with them has come an air of excitement and, of course, the urge to share your opinion of what happened with everyone in the entire world, because you have something of value to offer. Like a 140 character recap of what happened! You should be a writer. I am smiling so smugly right now.

For better or worse (definitely worse), Twitter and Facebook are things that are going to stick around. Whether or not we even like them, we use them. They’re how we connect with friends both close and distant and they keep us abreast (a breast, hahahahaha) of what’s currently going on in the world, like why you hate waking up, how bad your dog’s fart smells, what you ate for lunch, and that question you have that you typed into Twitter instead of Google.

Unfortunately, one of the things that goes on is television. And movies. On different timetables. We all get excited about entertainment, that’s why we’re here together on this site right now. But I think we can all agree that spoiling stuff makes you a dick. So here’s the thing about tweeting television….

Regardless of whether or not you’ve traveled beyond your backyard, you should be familiar with the concept of time zones. That is, to sort of unify the way we experience a day, time is relative to your location on the Earth. For Americans, on the East coast 9pm is 6pm on the West coast. Cool, huh?

Now, prime time exists for a reason – that’s when there are the most viewers. You want to put your flagship series in front of the most eyes. But because of time zones, prime time on the East coast is actually dinner time on the West. That is why television schedules are staggered along with the time zones.

All of this is a long winded way of saying that when you’re done watching Game of Thrones in Pennsylvania, people in Oregon haven’t even started yet. But now we have a problem – we’re all on Twitter! West coasters are waiting to watch while East coasters are bursting to talk! Then shit gets spoiled. Then shit gets real.

First things first: if you’re live tweeting the show, you’re not watching it. You’re tweeting it. I seriously doubt that you’re pausing every six minutes to make some shitty comment no one cares about. Pay attention to the show you supposedly love enough that you can’t hold in your Tweets!

Second: let’s all acknowledge that time zones exist and that spoiling stuff is bullshit. So, that said, can we all agree to not Tweet or post to Facebook about a show until after it has aired across the entire nation? We’ll all be happier that way. That basically means just waiting until 11pm PST or 1am EST. Too late for you? Go the fuck to sleep and talk about in the morning.

With the advent of the DVR, some people might not even watch it until later. So if you were really cool, you’d wait until 24 hours have passed to talk about it.

But let’s not ignore personal responsibility here: I ignore Twitter and Facebook leading into things I’m interested in.

I don’t read many Tweets in the hours before Mad Men, The Walking Dead, or Game of Thrones. I want to experience those spoiler free and I take on some of that responsibility myself by limiting my time on social media sites. Limiting, but not eliminating, which is why we all should place nice and not tweet spoilers until everyone has had a chance to watch.

Some of you right now are so on board. You’re like “Man this guy is awesome. Fuck posting to Twitter.” Hold your horses, because here comes the curveball: this shit happens in real time. People want to talk about it and they can. It is your responsibility to watch it. You can’t cry when someone spoils major developments of Game of Thrones Season One a year after it airs.

Oh, you don’t get HBO? Tough shit man. Guess what? Snape killed Dumbledore. The statute of limitations is up on that one, bro. Darth Vader is Luke’s dad. Bruce Willis was dead the whole time.

We’re all sharing this internet space. Floating down the same river. It all ends up the same place at different times. If you’re late to the barbecue, not by four or twenty four hours, but by a few days, weeks, months, or years, we’re starting without you.

There are thousands of us who pay for the privilege to watch these shows as they air. We don’t want to have to talk about them in hushed tones behind closed doors until you catch up 10 months later. If you want to be in on the conversation, pay up. If you want to be minor spoiler free, that’s on you.

Now, I should state that big, major spoilers shouldn’t be tweeted out ever. But little stuff and reactionary stuff – deal with it.

Let’s also recognize we’re in the era of over-sharing. People comment on everything. They want to. They need to. They can. I think it’s annoying too – but people can make minor comments about the show. You can say it was good, unexpected, or whatever – preferably after the adjusted time zone consideration.

You can’t be a fuddy duddy (yeah, I said it) about people talking about shit on Twitter. That is literally what Twitter is designed for – people to talk about stuff. We are all guilty of typing something that someone else would have rather not known – so don’t lose your shit when someone else does it.

What have we established here today? Primarily, that you shouldn’t tweet about a television show until after it has already aired across the nation. Let’s also remember not to tweet major spoilers ever, but also to not lose our shit or complain when people talk about something topical that we just haven’t watched yet this month for whatever reason. A violation of any of these sends me past my boiling point.

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Robert Fure is many things: horror expert, ruggedly handsome man of the world, witty prose composer, and writer of his own biography page. Beneath the bravado is a scared little boy, ready to grow into an awesome man and make lies about a scared little boy inside of him. Wait a minute...

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