I suppose it was inevitable. This past year, social networking shot through the roof, with everyone and her grandmother (literally) on Facebook. That is in addition to the explosive popularity of Twitter, as well as websites pumping out up-to-the-minute news 24/7. At the same time, the old media NBC television network decided to tape delay its Winter Olympics broadcast on the West Coast, apparently three hours behind the East Coast, even though the events are taking place in our time zone. And finally, as do many others I’m sure, I multitask when watching television, laptop in front of me, news headlines and social networks (and Vancouver Metblogs) never more than a click away. All of these phenomena have come crashing together this month like a perfect storm, threatening to spoil my Olympics.
The problem is, I keep learning the results from these Internet sources hours before seeing them for myself. I learned of Hannah Kearney’s mogul skiing gold medal, Apolo Ohno’s record-tying silver medal in speed skating, and the generous figure skating judges doling out high scores to skaters who fell during their short program, all before seeing it on tv. I tried appealing to my Twitter peeps who aren’t located on the West Coast not to post Olympics results, but they seem to need to do so, as if their reactions won’t count unless shared electronically and immediately.
I’m sure some of you are more computer-advanced than I, and can tell us how to get a great webcast of the Games on our computer in real time, even on our big-screen hdtv. If so, I would love to hear the solutions. I investigated this briefly, and did not find a satisfactory solution — for example, the online ads I saw were even more annoying than those on NBC.
I’m afraid the only solution I have found to watch the Winter Games unspoiled by spoilers is the most radical solution of staying off the Internet altogether.