Does Social Media Ruin The Surprise?


For two and a half years, since the team producing the opening and closing ceremonies for the Vancouver Olympic Games was put in place, the content of the ceremonies has been a closely guarded secret.

But when thousands of spectators are allowed in for dress rehearsals at B.C. Place next week before Friday’s opening ceremony, observers say it’s impossible that those secrets will remain under wraps.

“You start opening up a performance event with spectators and you want to maintain a high level of secrecy, I just don’t see how it’s even conceivable,” said Richard Smith, a professor of the school of communication at Simon Fraser University. “Certainly people will talk and when people talk, things no longer stay contained.”

Dr. Smith, an expert in social media, said in the age of Twitter and Facebook, he can’t imagine that people will keep mum – even if they do sign a non-disclosure agreement. “Every little blogger on the planet is thinking: ‘Well I could get a reprimand, but think of the hits.’ “

What do you think? We live in an age of instant information. Would you rather watch the Olympics opening ceremonies live and be surprised by what they will be like or will you just read about it on Twitter first?

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