I enjoy Twitter. Perhaps you’re not into it, and that’s cool. But I love the way it allows you to follow people who will link instantly to news and stupid things you both share an interest in. Twitter isn’t really about, “what I had for breakfast,” which is the most commonly used stereotype, just as bloggers are always said to be working from their mother’s basement.
But there is one problem with getting all that information you’re looking for in a relative snap: Spoilers. Twitter is teeming with spoilers for EVERYTHING: movies, TV shows, sporting events you saved on your DVR, books, you name it. You never know when one of your moron friends will pipe up and ruin your day by spouting off about the end of "Avatar." And you can’t put a spoiler warning on a 140-character tweet. You’d use up half the tweet if you did that.
I tend to watch "Mad Men" once it’s released on DVD, so I can watch all the episodes back to back. That means I avoided the third season when it first aired, which means I had to fight every fiber of my being from logging onto Twitter and seeing friends tweet about vague plot details like “blackface,” or “lawnmower accident.” I failed, of course. Stupid willpower.
I don’t even have Twitter on my phone. Plenty of people have their phones and mobile devices set up to give them Twitter updates the second they’re posted. So you could be strolling along, eating a doughnut, when suddenly… BAM! The plot of "Book of Eli" is RUINED!
Now, people will tell you that the best way to avoid this sort of thing is to not participate in Twitter. But you tweople out there know that’s not an option. Once Twitter hooks you, you’re finished. Either you accept that spoilers are just part of the package, or you avoid putting off seeing things later, and you go see them RIGHT AWAY.
And that’s where Twitter may find itself an ally of Hollywood.
If you don’t want things spoiled for you these days, the information flow is such that you have virtually no choice but to see things right away. That means seeing movies in the theater. That means not DVRing a show, but watching it now. And that’s music to Hollywood’s ears. "Avatar" is about to become the highest grossing film of all time, and will do it with shocking speed. And the reason why is because the technology is such that you MUST se it in theater, or else you haven’t seen it at all. Also, you must see it NOW, so that plot points aren’t spoiled for you, AND so you can participate in the discussion of it.
And if you’re dire to see new things right away, that means you’re paying full price at the theater, or watching the TV show in real time, ads and all. All of this keeps Hollywood fat and happy. Which means they can keep making $300 million films about giant blue aliens, that will then be spoiled for you on Twitter by some dude who went to an advance screening. Circle of life, gang.