Joseph Scott McCulty
After my Sunday evening viewing schedule proved unfruitful in the twitterverse (perhaps I watch weird things) I turned my tuner towards ABC for Monday night’s Dancing with the Stars. I didn’t really know what to expect as far as demographics go, but I definitely expected some hate – I didn’t get near as much as I expected. Here are a few examples of my findings, taken from time periods I thought might get a particular volume of reactions.
The above is a compilation of tweets that I found interesting. I chose them because I thought they gave an interesting perspective on what demographics were watching and how they may have reacted. I’m not sure the compilation is necessarily a fair representation of the whole picture, as I just picked out ones that were interesting to me either as stand-alone tweets, or in comparison to another tweet, but it should balance out as I talk about my experience as a whole.
I found that while the majority of tweets were from white women, there were still a good amount of very passionate men and a good number of representatives from each race. Ages seemed all over the place (teen to 40’s) and, if diction is any indicator of class, it seemed like it ranged throughout the echelons of the middle class, with a bit of the upper-lower. I found that the men were generally more aggressive and negative in their tweeting – the first two tweets I shared aptly demonstrate this. Surprisingly, I did not find any instances of men objectifying the lady-dancers as I searched through the multitude of tweets (perhaps they know now that we are watching) but that’s not to say I didn’t miss them. I did find plenty of women who weren’t afraid to comment on the “hot ass bodies,” however. Laina Lovestein’s tweet (included above) could be interpreted as having racist undertones, but that is the only example I saw, and I don’t claim to know her intent. Also of note was the several tweets expressing distaste for Elizabeth Berkley, who ended up getting eliminated. Could this be an example of women turning male standards imposed on them against other women as we discussed early on in the class?
At any rate, the live-tweeting of this program was interesting in that it acted kind of like a straw-poll with the dislike and then elimination of Elizabeth Berkley. I can absolutely understand why people would be interested in taking to the internet to discuss a show like this, as it is just an extension of what they are asked to do – vote. I’m sure most of these people have their favorite “stars” and they see twitter as their platform to make impassioned pleas for them. They feel like a part of the show and a part of the team as they help their dancers on their way to victory. And some people just like to be negative. Either way, it makes the show much more fun and interactive than it already was. As far as celebrities go, they didn’t tweet until after everything ended (they were busy doing the show during the show) and they had a chance to reflect. Generally, it was just them thanking for or showing support.