No one would ever describe me as an early adopter. I am not a cutting edge kind of guy. I am usually one of the last people I know to participate in anything technology related. It was true of Facebook. It was true of blogging. And, to the point at hand, it was true of Twitter. I never tweet. I spend very little time, probably less than 10 minute per day, reading tweets from those I follow.Most of the people I follow are active in the arts or liberal politics.
TIME magazine publishes a list every year of the best Twitter feeds by categories. Here is a link to the 2013 list. I’ll usually check some of them out, at least for a time. I listen to a couple of NPR podcasts and they sometimes suggest new Twitter feeds as well. There is one area, however where Titter has become absolutely indispensable; watching awards shows!
Watching the Academy Awards, or the recent Grammys and Golden Globes, with Twitter open on my phone increases my enjoyment of the awards show about 300%. I love the stream of comments. Some are thoughtful; celebrating someone’s success or expressing disappointment. Some are tawdry. Some are catty humor. All combined, it makes watching much more of a shared experience. It is like attending a really large Oscar viewing party where all the guests were invited because they are witty and articulate. (If they weren’t witty and/or articulate I would not follow them on Twitter).
This new level of enjoyment was kicked into the stratosphere on last Sunday’s Oscars when host Ellen DeGeneres incorporated Twitter into the show by tweeting selfies from the audience, live. Other performers and presenters we tweeting from back stage or from the audience.
Some favorites of the evening:
There were rave tweets about the acceptance speeches of Cate Blanchett and Lupita Nyong’o, less so for Matthew McConaughey.
There was an instant barrage that all said some variation of ‘ what did Travolta just say?‘ or ‘Who the F&%k is “Adele Dazeem?”
Bette Midler tweeted: ‘Backstage at the Oscars – god am I nervous.’ Immediately following her her performance she tweeted; ‘ How did I do?‘
After The Wizard of Oz tribute, the ever-irreverent satirical magazine The Onion tweeted: ‘Judy Garland’s bones dumped on stage at the Oscars in an attempt to wring one more song from the old gal.’
The only negative to using social media as an adjunct to television is that I live an area where “live” events are shown on tape delay. People back East are flooding Twitter and FB with spoilers of things I won’t see of 1-2 hours. Nothing is perfect. And any frustration I might have about spoilers is completely self-inflicted. In the words of Mae West; I “could have turned it off!”