I had a taste tonight of what it was like to watch theater on TV and tweet. Verdict: I couldn’t do it — very well, that is. I had my laptop and Downton Abbey in full view before me on HDTV. I tweeted, maybe only twice during the show. The action was unfolding much too furiously on TV for moi to tweet and watch the episode together. No, multitasking was not possible and an undeserved injustice to a fine program like Downton Abbey, a Masterpiece (literally!) where the witty dialogue has to be savored. I tried to read and see what I could learn from the #DowntonPBS tweets; checking on people’s comments via Visible Tweets (pretty tweet viewer at visibletweets.com) and Tweet Grid (tweetgrid.com). Nope, I couldn’t follow them AND enjoy Downton. Sorry, Twitter technology and theater is simply not quite such a match for period dramas where I have to hang on to every word to derive pleasure. Maybe a less cerebral pairing might work — reality TV and Twitter?
It’s nice to go back and read the Twitter conversation now that the show is over. There’s a sense of this shared experience knowing that people appreciate the show as much as I do. They relish the wit and catch the nuances of the repartee. Learning occurred asynchronously for me through others who created the conversation synchronously and asynchronously (after the show was over). Thanks PBS and tweeps of #DowntonPBS.