Chances are if you have turned on a television, looked at a newspaper, listened to the radio, or talked to another human being, you have heard about the Olympics. I’m not a huge sports fan, but I have been following the games thanks to my Twitter feed.
Social media has played an interesting role in the Olympics this summer. A Swiss football (soccer for me) player was expelled for allegedly racist tweets, and it has made it difficult for people wanting to watch the recap later in the day to avoid spoilers, to name a few things.
It has also been the most popular Olympics on social media: Twitter reported that from 12:01 a.m. to 4:24 p.m. Pacific Time last Friday, the day of the Opening Ceremony, the volume of tweets mentioning the Olympics surpassed the cumulative number of such tweets posted during the entire span of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
How are you engaging with the Olympics on social media this summer? Are you following along in real time, or are you trying to keep Twitter and Facebook from spoiling the results before you get a chance to watch the games? As I mentioned earlier, I am simply keeping up to date on Twitter. With social media and live streaming now available, it can be argued that these Olympics are more of a fractured experience and less of a shared one. However, do fewer people sitting down during prime time to watch the games really result in less of a shared experience when they are engaging in more ways than before?