Is Social Media Changing the Games?

Olympics Day 6 - SwimmingWhen I wake up in the morning the first thing I do is check my email, then naturally I go on Twitter and Facebook, honestly who doesn’t? This seems to be the first time in Olympics history that social media is making a splash.

Nowadays we all work on a 24/7 internet driven news cycle that can be updated with the click of a button.  So for those of us who look forward to getting home from a long day at work and curling up with our favorite Olympic athletes – there’s no longer any suspense.  While sportscasters and London Olympics attendees are watching the excitement in real time, we are waiting patiently at our desks to get home for primetime.  Four years ago at the Beijing Games this was not an issue due to the 12 hour time difference the night events coincided with our daytime and vice versa.

Proud fans of their countries are taking to social media this year more than ever before and in turn spoiling the results for the rest of us.  Being an internet and social media addict it is almost impossible to avoid.  Do you think less people are tuning in to the Olympics because they know who have won?  I noticed that ABC’s Facebook status now shows “SPOILER ALERT” to keep those like me from clicking.

This is a learning experience for the whole world, how do we accommodate one another when taping it on my DVR is no longer enough.  As frustrating as it is, I still enjoy watching the games during primetime, even if I know who won. The Olympics will never lose its excitement and inherent patriotic pride that comes with watching the USA win the gold! You’re watching history in the making even though it happened a few hours earlier. So for the next two weeks I’ll learn to curb my addiction to the internet because when it comes down to it, I would prefer to watch Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte duke it out in the pool full of suspense.

By Rachel Adler Schapiro