Social media hurdles in London Olympics

Published: Aug. 1, 2012 at 2:23 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 1, 2012 at 12:11 PM HST
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Ashley Ichimura
Ashley Ichimura
Warren Okazaki
Warren Okazaki
Kimo Leslie
Kimo Leslie
Ryan Ozawa
Ryan Ozawa

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Fans of the Olympics aren't just glued to their televisions anymore. They're sending tweets, posting on Facebook, and sharing results hours before the events air in prime time. The popularity of social media is changing the way people watch the summer games. All those smart phones and tablets can end up spoiling the surprise.

Between shots during her game of pool at Dave & Buster's, Ashley Ichimura focused on another competition thousands of miles away. The former high school swimmer watched in awe as Olympic athletes stroked their way to victory.

"It's exciting to watch. It's just like any other fight or football game or anything like that," said Ichimura.

Ichimura steers clear of social media sites and the internet before key events to avoid spoilers.

"It kind of sucks, but if it's not something you really care to watch, just know the end result, I guess it's good," she said.

Other fans also preferred watching the action not knowing the outcome ahead of time.

"They give highlights of behind-the-scene information. What (the athletes) had to put in to do this," said Chinatown resident Warren Okazaki.

"I try to stay off Facebook, and if I do see it, I just say I'll see it for myself," said Hawaii Kai resident Kimo Leslie.

It's tough to stay in the dark when Olympic results are even being sent to smartphones.

"I think that it's definitely the first second screen games - whether you've got an iPad, or an iPhone, or a computer on your desk - that you're going to be watching it and kind of reading the commentary or the comments of your friends or what's going on on Twitter at the same time," said technologist Ryan Ozawa.

Ozawa believes social media can enhance the viewing experience. He doesn't mind the spoilers and said he still tunes in each night with his family.

"Even if you know who won, you kind of want to see how they won," said Ozawa. "It's the drama of it. It's the parents that are freaking out in the stands. It's how close the milliseconds are for the fingers to touch."

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