Live tweeting is a recent phenomenon wherein actors in our favourite shows (or even sometimes the production company) will tweet along with each episode. Now don't get me wrong, I totally understand the idea behind it. The stars of the show join in with the fans, watching along and commenting on the events as they happen. However, I always find something a little bit off about it.
The thing that bugs me, particularly because I'm English and don't necessarily get to see the new episodes of my favourite shows live, is that I often find myself skipping most of my twitter feed to avoid spoilers. I'm one of those people who doesn't like spoilers (who does?!) and I want to be surprised by what happens. But I sometimes find it really hard to avoid them because of live tweeting.
I actually had some big developments spoiled for me, such as the reveal of the mother in How I Met Your Mother and Skye's true identity in Agents of SHIELD. The former was actually spoiled by the producers of the show! For me, that was really bad form. Now I know what you're going to say, at least they did it after the show has aired and of course they didn't do it beforehand, but there has to be another way for them to share this information with fans.
I often see Dan Slott (the current Amazing Spider-Man writer) warning people to stay off the internet to avoid spoilers. He knows that people want to experience stories for the first time without the ending or any major events being revealed early. For most people, the internet has become a huge part of their daily life and we all have our favourite websites that we visit on a daily basis. We shouldn't have to get to the point where we totally avoid one of these sites for a day or two just so they don't ruin the ending of a show.
I remember my brother complaining to me that 10 minutes after the penultimate episode of the last series of Doctor Who, the BBC tweeted the big reveal that happened in that episode. Again, you can argue that they did it AFTER the episode aired but there was no spoiler warning on the post, it was just explicitly stated there and then. The way TV works now is that while many people will still watch a show live, there will still be a percentage of the audience who will catch up with the show at a later date. This is reflected in the way TV ratings are measured now. There are the initial ratings for the live broadcast then a couple of days later, the number of catch up viewers are added to this. If actors or production teams live tweet spoilers, they do it with (seemingly) no consideration for anyone who could not watch it live. What is worse is that this seems to be an acceptable form of spoiling a show.
As I said before, I totally understand the logic behind interacting with the fans and reacting along to significant events, but it seems to me that there has to be a better way to do it. Twitter is a great tool for interacting with our favourite TV shows. We can use it to voice our opinions on the show or ask questions to the actors and I think this absolutely should continue. But the acceptable nature of live tweeting spoilers is just plain wrong! I wouldn't think of telling all my friends a show's big twist if they hadn't seen it yet, so why is this okay for the people who make the shows?