Posted: Jul 31, 2012 6:15 PM by Keli Moore
Updated: Aug 1, 2012 8:07 AM
The time difference between the U.S. and London has caused an Olympic hurdle. Results are hitting Twitter, Facebook and other sites hours before the events air on domestic soil.
So are the 2012 Olympics forcing fans to stay off-line to avoid spoilers?
Despite spoilers and tape delays it's been an historic Olympics for NBC. More than 38-million people tuned in during its first three nights. That's 5-million more viewers than the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which was mostly broadcast live. But for some - it is killing the camaraderie as watching an event as its happening can be more exhilarating than watching something hours later.
"Can you believe Phelps didn't place. What the heck? Thank you for ruining it for me!" said Dave Anderson, as he watched the Olympics at Firestone in downtown San Luis Obispo.
Social media has boomed with an average of 400-million Tweets per day. In contrast, during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the average daily Tweets were roughly 300,000.
"And that's why I won't go on ESPN, and I won't go on Yahoo! or Facebook. I want to watch it in prime time," said Anderson.
More than 900-million people now use Facebook.
"The other day I was watching the cycling road race, and I looked at Facebook and Shimano Sports totally ruined it for me. So I turned it off," said Rebekah Maples, also at Firestone with her husband and daughter.
"I have been doing the best I can to not go on Facebook and Twitter. I actually deactivated my Facebook account just for the Olympics," said Anderson.
But, social media isn't the only culprit. When someone logs onto Yahoo! or Gmail there are constant Olympic updates. And athletes themselves have spoiled the results. Ryan Lochte, an Olympic swimmer for Team USA, tweeted Monday night, "not so happy about that swim tonight...you live and learn. Tomorrow I will be better." His event didn't air on prime time till hours later.
But some said they will watch in prime time regardless, because the Summer Games only come around every four years.
"I feel like it brings a lot of patriotism out of people," said Jason Traughber, an Olympic fan.
Some tips to not hear the results before tuning in; hide status updates on Facebook from friends who are Olympic fans; try Twitter Dog House, which enables users to stop following certain people for a certain amount of time; and fight the temptation to constantly check smart phones.
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