For many people, watching television is no longer the lazy activity it once was. Thanks to subscription video services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, consumers can now consume entire seasons of popular television shows in a single sitting, a phenomena that has been dubbed "binge viewing." But while one person may be marathoning a show, another might be watching its current season in real time, which can cause a problem when they look to discuss these shows on social media.
Accidentally stumbling upon a spoiler is a problem that everyone is likely to have encountered at one point or another, since streaming on Netflix now accounts for a quarter of internet data in North America. And with a backlog of still-running shows like "Mad Men", "Breaking Bad" or "Downton Abbey" available on the service, the internet has become a veritable minefield of spoiler potential.
The rise of portable devices has contributed to two-screened viewing, or the process by which viewers will watch a show on their television, and then discuss it, often on Twitter, using a laptop, tablet or smartphone. During mass-viewing events like the Super Bowl, or even the finale of a competition show, this practice is widespread.
But last month during the Olympics, many people who wished to watch the pre-recorded events later on in the day were disappointed to hear about the outcome in advance from an online news source or on Twitter or Facebook. This annoyance has had many people wondering if Twitter should have a way to warn others of a coming spoiler.
Jared Newman of Time Magazine wrote about this problem recently, saying that one writer had suggested that Twitter add a cover to tweets when users used the "$" symbol.
It remains to be seen if the engineers from Twitter will take this suggestion, though it could improve the viewing experience for many people. No matter how you watch TV though, PortableOne has a great selection of laptops with Windows and tablets, perfect for streaming video and talking about live events.