How do you watch live events?

With the debates and the Playoffs on this week, I was wondering about the level of personal engagement people have with others during major live events.

For instance, I purposely stayed home during the Sox final clincher game against the Twins because I wanted to be able to swear at the TV and act up without the judgment of those around me. I was at work during the game yesterday, but am considering leaving early to hole up in a bar to watch the 2nd playoff game against the Tampa Bay Rays. If Sunday’s game is another do-or-die, I’ll probably stay home again, but the farther along we get in the Playoffs, the more I’ll want to be around other people.

But…I did use Twitter during those games to enhance the shared misery and joy.

For the debates, I almost never want to be out. It’s fine for me to make sardonic comments, but hey you, buddy? I’m watching the future of our country over here, keep it down, uh?

But again…Twitter has actually enhanced my enjoyment of the debates. Some of my friends are their own mini-Truth Squad, others drop Dorothy Parker-level bon mots at every opportunity, and still others just offer a sense of the communal. (Though I know at least one casual Twitter-using friend of mine has reported being overwhelmed by the level of Tweets coming into his phone.)

There are definitely some times when I want to be “alone” and able to control my immediate environment, but lately I’m more and more drawn to using Twitter to still get analysis, camaraderie and information about a live event.

How about you, avid/casual Twitter users? Who else is using Twitter during live events? And are there ever events when you wouldn’t want to use it?

6 comments for “How do you watch live events?

  1. October 3, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    I did, last night, during the debate, to converse with you guys, mostly, like a virtual debate-watching party.It was sad to see how taxed Twitter’s servers really were, but I’m glad I made it through without a fail-whale. (Thanks, @Robey!)Would it have been better if we were all skype’d or video iChatting? Probably not — individual lines which were legible as text on the screen would’ve gotten lost in the cacophony.

  2. October 3, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    By my count, I made 57 tweets during the debate- not counting direct ones and a typo…I think I was inspired by our texting during the Oscars… this is the next step…

  3. October 3, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    I think Twitter is perfect for events like the debates. The only *problem* I have is that I tend to want to pause the television to type up a tweet, or else possibly miss something, and thus get more and more behind a *real-time* discussion. Still, having Twitter makes watching such events much more fun.

  4. October 3, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Swanksalot: I felt the same way. Would have liked to pause and replay, but didn’t want to fall behind, as it where.Matt: I think Twitter, not Skype and iChatting, works best, too. Much easier to watch a progression when you go back and review, too.

  5. October 3, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Algonquin Roundtable, here I come!

  6. October 4, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    I haven’t watched a significant sports event away from home in years. Of course, my problem always was that if I watched it at a bar, I always got too drunk because I was either celebrating or moping, and I missed half the game.I like the idea of using Twitter for any major televised event. It’s a way of sharing that collective experience with others, especially now that I have a family and it’s harder for me to get out and socialize. It works best for TV because you can sit there with your phone or a laptop and feel like you’re part of something larger than your living room. It moved the next day’s water cooler talk to a live performance.

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