Remember the days before instant 24-hour news, Twitter, Facebook and all good thing in social media?
You know, the good 'ol days of the Olympics when you couldn't wait to watch the prime time events and cheer for the USA (or whatever team you're cheering for) .. and there was actual excitement and anticipation in the air?
I miss those days.
I hate to say it, but the Olympics just aren't the same anymore thanks to social media.
Sure, it's still exciting when Team USA wins at an event, but it's not as exciting anymore because for the most part, we already know what's going to happen.
Spoilers from the news and social media have become their own Olympic event.
Earlier in the week when the US Women's Gymnastic team won the gold .. I knew about it in the early afternoon thanks to the NY Times "breaking news alert" email in my inbox. The subject line was "Spoiler alert - US Women take gold in gymnastics" (or something like that). I'm assuming putting "Spoiler alert! Results of Women's gymnastics in this email! Read ONLY if you want to know the results!" was too much to ask.
Sure, I knew the results. I knew who won, and yet I still sat glued to the TV for four hours that night watching all the events that had been recorded earlier in the day. It was fun to watch...but the nail biting, edge of your seat anticipation, just hoping the US team sticks their landings and the other teams don't ... yeah...it wasn't there. It felt kind of "meh" to me.
And that makes me sad.
All these spoilers and breaking news alerts make me long for
the days when you really didn't know the results until you watched the
event at night. It really does make me long for the "good old days" of Olympic coverage.
What's the solution?
I don't know.
Maybe NBC needs to broadcast those big events as they happen - even if it is 1 p.m. ET on a Thursday afternoon. I'm sure people would watch ... and others would watch the replay at night. Or maybe the news organization's "breaking news" emails need to have better spoiler alerts. It makes me sad that the major news organizations aren't even trying to keep the spoilers under wraps. They're just posting everything as breaking news.
I get that we live in a 24-7-365 news cycle now and we're surrounded by non-stop social media and there's no way to "go back" (nor do I want to "go back"). But there has to be a way to do the Olympics the right way - keeping some of the suspense and drama that we all look forward to when it comes to the Olympics. Let's hope they can figure it out before the next Olympic games.