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The Spoiler Theater of Sunday Night: The Walking Dead

In dealing with this age of social media one of the shows I make a point to watch live is The Walking Dead. Usually I’m not doing anything Sunday night anyway but if I wasn’t able to watch it live, I’d be avoiding any and all social media until I could watch it. Now why do I say that? The Walking Dead as many people have learned is one of the most spoiled shows on television. Now Agents of SHIELD, Arrow, and The Flash are up there along with other serialized shows but The Walking Dead is a frequent series that ends up spoiled on social media. Now what inspired this piece is after watching The Walking Dead someone I know posted that he got spoiled on the show right after it aired. Poor guy was waiting till later and well, he got spoiled. The Walking Dead is heavily live tweeted, heavily discussed on Facebook, and even has The Talking Dead which people on Twitter post tweets that are heavy with spoilers as they chat along with the show. See at least with Arrow, Agents of SHIELD, and The Flash, it is avoidable to a degree. I know people who get spoiled but not to the level that happens with The Walking Dead.

See I’ve talked about Live Tweeting in the past but this is a case where I do sympathize with those who get spoiled. I always have as I’ve had delays in viewing certain shows and was lucky to avoid spoilers. I imagine if Twitter was around when Buffy and more was at their heights, oh man it would have been off the charts brutal with spoilers. The Walking Dead has that sort of rabid fanbase that wants to discuss their show during and after the fact so the spoilers fly. Now yes the common thing to say to them is avoid social media or mute the tag, which is fine. Yet I think there should be some kind of decorum in talking about TV. Just talk but don’t spoil the entire event, just DM a friend that is watching the show that night if you really need to go spoiler theater. Even with muting the tag, not everyone uses hashtags and spoilers can leak through that way too.

I know it is the Internet, I know people are going to discuss their shows and have their chats either way. I like chatting about them too and as I’ve said, I know the live tweeting genie is out of the bottle. Just people, you can talk about a show without going spoiler crazy. The Walking Dead is that example of people getting out of hand with spoiling entire episodes in five seconds after the darned episode airs. At least use the hashtag so people can just mute you during and after the show if you’re going to discuss it. Heck, you get a neat emoji out of it every week so that’s bonus points too. I know it is hard for the Internet to find some kind of decorum in live tweeting because well, it is the Internet. The Internet where in between serious conversations, the silly chat about who’s better Marvel or DC becomes a full blown blood feud in five seconds.

So within every Sunday Night you usually have a lot of shows. Heck the other show that could have spoiler potential is Once Upon a Time but somehow that show ends up not getting heavily spoiled. Outside of the Frozen reveal with Elsa but that was such a rare thing and a major surprise that I’m not entirely shocked that it got spoiled the way it did. That was a shocker and The Walking Dead has that kind of effect. Usually when a big event happens on The Walking Dead, it hits big so people go on twitter and everything else and without any thought start on the spoiler spree. It is very much a spur of the moment blast of social media madness when people turbo load spoilers left and right talking about whatever is happening on The Walking Dead.

This is why people get grouchy about spoilers and The Walking Dead. This is the ground zero show that people will spoil without any thought. This is that show that people will without fail go on spoiler blasts about and ticking people off in the process. I sympathize with those who hit the Sunday night Spoiler Theater that is The Walking Dead. I feel for them and I can imagine they would love the enjoy the show along with everyone else. I remember one time I was over at someones house and saw some of an episode of The Walking Dead there. Since I watch the show with my Dad, when I got to watch it with him I made a point not to spoil his enjoyment by saying anything about that first bit of the episode. Just like in person, you just have to know that going on spoiler blasts on social media isn’t cool, just like you’d be frustrated if someone spoiled something in person for you.

I fear for when Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits, my word people are going to spoil that to tears within one day. If you think The Walking Dead is bad, that’ll be a week long event of spoiler theater like no other. I feel there should be a rule book already in place for those who will be wanting to spoil every little detail of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Anyway, I am digressing but it does fit The Walking Dead conversation, just be cool and don’t spoil the freaking show for people. Let them share the same love of the show you have. It may be a little delayed but it is their viewing cycle for a show and that should be respected.

I know that The Internet does what it does and that’s fine, I’ve accepted that long ago. Live Tweeting is one phenomenon that isn’t going away anytime soon. Yet I think with The Walking Dead we could all learn to just be cool and don’t ruin the enjoyment of the show for others.

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Accepting and Embracing the World of Live Tweeting

Let’s start this off by saying that at one point I was an active live tweeter. I was heavily involved in live tweeting, The Walking Dead, Falling Skies, and South Park and those were my regular shows to live tweet. Mostly because I had other friends that I was watching with and made a couple friends that way too. After awhile though I kind of fell out of live tweeting because I found myself not as into it as I once was. I had nothing against live tweeting but after awhile it just wasn’t for me. Back then though it wasn’t as huge as it is nowadays. I know many people who despise live tweeting because a lot of people don’t do it right. People will spoil shows left and right in the midst of their live tweets and that’s where the hatred of live tweeting comes in for people. I can understand it and why there are certain nights I know if I’m not going to watch a show I just avoid social media for the night because it can be just as nutty on facebook now. For as many though that go spoiler crazy, there are others that are actively engaging and have genuine and fun chats about the shows. So this is why I’m writing this, talking about why sometimes you almost have to accept and embrace that live tweeting is here to stay, love it or hate it.

Now why do I say that live tweeting is here to stay, one is now every TV show uses live tweeting. The Walking Dead fans are notorious for spoilers but they’re also hyper passionate and talk about the show with a fervor like no other. They could be better about not spoiling but I also know live tweeters who are good about not spoiling the big events of the show. The Flash is heavy on live tweeting, Arrow is heavy on it, and heck I’ve even seen the Thursday night ABC shows become huge live tweeting events. Then the WWE with Raw and their live PPV’s especially rely heavily on social media. Social media is part of the ratings as much as the actual Live, DVR, and even streaming views. The landscape for TV is new beast and live tweeting isn’t going away at all. It’s not just about discussion anymore, it’s about part discussion and also that people are paying attention to your show at all.

As I am defending live tweeting I’m also going to give advice on how to do it responsibly. After all there is an art to everything and with live tweeting there are good and bad ways to do it. The bad ways are straight up spoiling major points in a show. The reason why there are so many people who despise live tweeting is because of spoilers. If you’re going to live tweet be careful how you say a plot point that blows your mind. Now with The Flash there was an easter egg of King Shark that appeared and that’s a grey area spoiler. It’s a your mileage will vary on this. For me when I saw King Shark I made a point to tread carefully with it until I saw everyone straight up hollering from the roof tops about King Shark. About a day or so later I decided to let my King Shark nerd out fly because every freaking website had talked about it by that point. Just for live tweeters, even something mild about King Shark be careful. Say #TheFlash #Spoiler so people could mute it or just ignore it and go on to something else. Seriously The Walking Dead could learn a thing or do about being careful about spoilers because once a major event happens on that show, all bets are off. Just #Spoilers people and it could help a lot.

That’s really the biggest one is the spoilers. Everything else about talking about a character you like, that’s fine and awesome, go nuts and talk about that character you love. Talk about the scenes that you’re digging and all that, there’s so many things you can talk about in a live tweet without outright spoiling things for people. Not everyone watches live so be mindful of that and be passionate but don’t be a spoiler junkie, don’t be that person in the theater talking about all the plot points before they can see the movie. The Live Tweeting Genie is out of the bottle but it is now up to us to know how to manage it and control how the conversation goes.

I haven’t done a live tweet in a long time but I do like talking TV shows on twitter frequently so I can see why people enjoy live tweeting. Usually I watch most of my stuff live, at least the stuff that I know will likely be spoiled before I can blink. If I didn’t watch The Walking Dead live, oh lord I would have it spoiled for me in five seconds and same goes for the Flash and Arrow. Others aren’t able or just don’t watch it live and have learned the fine art of avoiding all social media during certain nights of the week. Others forget and then the anger over the spoilers begin and it’s why I’ve gone on twitter actively to tell people to be careful, yet it seems to fall on deaf ears. Hence why I write this.

To sum this up for people, be kind to the DVR and Streamers of the world Live Tweeters. Not everyone can watch a show live and some people even wait for Netflix or even a box set to be released before they get into a show. Be kind is all I ask my Live Tweeting friends, be kind. The Live Tweet is out there, the Facebook blasts are out there, and it is up to all of us to be cool and learn not to spoil the living heck out of everything for the rest of the universe. Thanks for reading and take care.