When should you live-tweet? (AP file photo )
Remember when your mom had a no-texting policy at the dinner table? Mine still does, and it doesn't matter how much I try to explain "I'm just tweeting!" to her—it's "rude" to click away on your phone with friends or family. So I'm pretty sure she'd vomit from anger if she heard about the latest trend in tweeting-on-location.
Theaters and performing groups around the country have been setting aside "tweet seats" for audience members to freely tweet throughout performances. The groups include everything from the Carolina Ballet in Raleigh, N.C., and the Dayton Opera in Ohio to the most recent local option of "tweet seats" atthe Tribune's"Chicago Live!" weekly stage show, which invites select bloggers to live-tweet.
Though I'm generally open to exploring new uses for social media, I have concerns about this trend, one being: They have opera in Ohio?
I love the concept, but not all live-tweeting is created equal. In the spirit of sharing good ideas vs. bad ideas, I have suggestions for deploying the live-tweet tactic.
Things you shouldn't live-tweet
Your professor's in-class meltdown: The Internet (which includes Twitter) is forever. If you don't think your professor is Googling the crap out of you and your tweets chronicling his complaints about his annoying, cold and heartless wife, you deserve to fail anyway.
Your bad date: As much as it pains me to say this—because I would love to read it—keep the phone in your bag when your date takes off his shirt in the middle of the bar to show you his surgery scars (true story). Everyone's screwed up on a date before, and he doesn't need to be outed as the "worst date ever!!!" Plus, you might look like a soulless a-hole.
Stand-up comedy shows: At the TBS Just for Laughs comedy festival last summer, Louis C.K. introduced a surprise guest, the legendary Richard Lewis, midway through the show. Louis begged the crowd "not to tweet about it or whatever" in an effort not to ruin it for the people at the show the next night. Though "spoilers" are unavoidable for your favorite reality TV show, they don't have to be for live, I-paid-for-this-[bleep] events.
A new movie at the theater: Tweet seats haven't been introduced at AMC yet, thankfully. Not only would you be disturbing everyone around you with your key-clicking and the bright glow of your screen, but you're probably ruining the movie for everyone who hasn't had the chance to see it. Stick to a post-show 140-character review tweet.
Things you could (and should) live-tweet
Mr. CrazyPants on the No. 66-Chicago bus: If only because your friends might not believe the things coming out of this dude's mouth when you try to recount the story later.
Sporting events: Because I don't usually watch a lot of sports and get a kick out of seeing the same 10 or 15 tweets in a row whenever D-Rose sinks a 3-pointer. It keeps me relevant.
Someone else's bad date: Your bad date is one thing. Someone else's is fair game. (Look up "Couple's break-up at Burger King becomes Twitter spectacle." Trust me.)
Awards shows and red carpets: Let's get together with our Internet friends and make fun of stars!
JESSICA GALLIART IS REDEYE'S SOCIAL MEDIA LADY. JGALLIART@TRIBUNE.COM | @REDEYECHICAGO