Social Media Etiquette When Watching Television

April 14, 2014


Posted By: Mindbenders Media
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And then Don Draper… don’t worry, we won’t spoil it for you. We can’t, however, promise that others on social media won’t spoil Mad Men in the hours following the seventh season premiere.

Television viewing habits have changed with the continual growth of social media. Social platforms like Facebook and Twitter have changed how fans interact with one another regarding their favorite shows. In fact, more and more viewers are watching shows in real-time so they can be involved in the social conversation. While social platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, do have the added benefit of extending the online conversation between users, they can also negatively affect the viewing experience for others that are unable to watch the show “live.” There are simply too many avenues for “spoilers” to creep into your Twitter feed or Facebook timeline before you witness that on-screen OMG moment.

Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, famously received flak for spoiling an episode of Game of Thrones for fans on Twitter (If you haven’t seen ALL of season three, then PLEASE don’t click on the link). As Aaron reminded his followers last night, his rule-of-thumb is that you should wait 24 hours after the show originally airs before mentioning it on social media platforms like Twitter.

aaron rodgers tweet

But what happens when an entire season worth of episodes gets released at once like House of Cards on Netflix? Needless to say, the rules have changed.

People have tried a number of different ways to not spoil the show for others on social media, but overall, these attempts are failing. There’s the “SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER… did you just see what happened,” Facebook status, which, let’s be honest, doesn’t work. There’s also the person who tweets out “Well, there goes my second favorite character. I can’t believe she just did that,” which still gives away too much and allows other viewers to prematurely connect the dots.

To prevent these mistakes from happening (and to keep your friends), here are a few rules to follow on social media:

1)   Do not include specifics. And whatever you do, NEVER use names.

2)   Don’t pretend to be vague. This is annoying and not effective.

3)   Include **SPOILER** in the headline before including a link. The post can be a general statement with a link backing your statement or theory. If the person still clicks on the link, they have only themselves to blame.

4)   Include the season and episode number you are currently on so others will know where you are in the show. That way, other fans will know what you have and have not seen.

5)   Think twice before you hit send. This should also be a general rule of using social media. Ask yourself the question: would this ruin the show for others?

If that isn’t enough and you need to further discuss your theories or thoughts, we suggest using text messaging, Facebook messaging, or Twitter’s Direct Messaging to discuss more of the show’s specifics. Are you more of an app fan? Try using TV Tag or Viggle Inc. to communicate with others socially.

Social media offers a number of key benefits today including connecting users across the digital realm instantaneously and extending the conversation online. Unfortunately, this added benefit also increases the prospect of connecting users and television fans at an inopportune time.

Be safe out there, TV fans. There’s nothing worse than finding out Don Draper…

Photo credit: Robert S. Donovan / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)




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