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Spoiler Alert
By: Jessica Cherok
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All of the hype to hashtag and like what’s going on in real-time is ruining the viewing experience for some. Is there some sort of social media etiquette for watching TV shows, movie premiers, and so on?

Recently some theaters around the country were offering free seats to patrons who would come and watch performances and tweet about the experience. The obvious appeal is real-time hype about the plays, but with the appeal comes the concern that the tweets would give away crucial plot details.

Is it appropriate for these theaters to rely on the wherewithal of certain audience members to know what to tweet and what to keep to themselves?

Well, if those audience members are the same people using Twitter during shows like Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, etc., perhaps it isn’t such a good idea. But who does the onus fall on — the viewers or the ones that missed the original airing?

While it is fairly common etiquette amongst the masses to not give out movie details, the same does not seem to be as applicable for television shows. Part of the reasoning behind keeping mum on movie details is due to the fact that we just aren’t all able to see movies at the same time. It’s spread out over the span of a couple of months.

The same was true — at least until DVR — for television shows. Before we had DVRs and the ability to watch shows online, anyone who missed the original air date was pretty much out of luck. But with the prevalence of multiple viewing options, as well as the increase in social media use, we’re just not all watching TV at the same time.

Unfortunately this new reality of TV-watching convenience is counter to the near-instantaneous sharing abilities promoted by shows. And while there’s a fun sense of community that comes from updating and sharing about the same events, do we owe it to our fellow viewers to be more discreet in what we say?

Your answer probably depends on whether or not someone has ruined a show for you.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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