Many commentators have discussed how technology and social media have influenced this Olympics. We knew how alone the commentators were in thinking the Opening Ceremonies rocked by scanning Twitter. Some athletes abandoned their various feeds for that little extra focus. Commentators showed how many fans an athlete started with and how the number multiplied as the games progressed. Micheal Phelps and Ryan Lotche have received tweets from Lil Wayne. Missy Franklin has heard from Bieber. But commentators have not discussed what I think the greatest effect social media and the internet have played in this Olympics: spoiler alerts.
I know there’s a time delay and what we’re watching is not live. There’s still drama, “Will the person I’m rooting for win?” I like the feeling of relief when they do and singing their praises and attacking the winner when they don’t.
I’m weary when I open my browser. The headlines pop up in the center so I skim or move past anything Olympics (unless I don’t care about that sport, then I’ll read it).
I was doing well until my phone got in on the action. I get news alerts and they’re usually something serious, like “The power plant exploded and by the time you get done reading this, you most likely will be dust.” I got a news alert and checked it, expecting something political like, “Romney embarrassed us too much, not allowed back in country.” No. It’s “Phelps wins silver.” ….Well, thank you. Since I knew what happened, I spent the time when they show you all the competitors in that heat glaring and sneering at them. Le Clos. You jerk.
“What is wrong with you?” my mom asked.
Same thing happened with Gabby Douglas. I did my best to forget, like when you know how a movie ends, you want to see how things unfold and how they arrive at that finish. I also wanted to see how Aly ended up. I think Gabby had just finished uneven bars when my dad informed us, “Gabby wins.” Thank you.
My phone died. I’m thinking of leaving it dead, just to ensure surprise.