Live Tweeting Analysis: #BL15

Taylor Shanley

The live television event that I followed on Twitter was the “Trick or Treat” episode of The Biggest Loser on Tuesday, November 5th at 8 p.m. The class, age, and race of the viewers tweeting was very similar across a number of tweets. Also, the tweets that I observed reflected two attitudes toward the show: a positive, supportive view toward those participating in the show and a mocking attitude that made the show appear to be pathetic.

The major groups that I found to be live tweeting the event were white, young adults and pop culture news accounts. The white young adults appeared to separate into haters and fans of the show quite apparently and the pop culture accounts were indifferent. The tweets of the haters that I found were not very harsh toward particular characters or themes prevalent in the show, but nevertheless mocked it. For example, two of the tweets in the list I compiled reflect upon the user eating food when watching the show. I feel like this is ironic and commented in somewhat of a rude or inappropriate way toward a hardworking group of individuals who have struggled with overeating. They probably live tweeted the event to gain a humorous response from their peers and get retweets or favorites. Many find humor in making fun of obese people and using this irony would achieve a response. Contrasting, the fans of the show were supportive when live tweeting. They instead commented on how inspirational the contestants on the show were and expressed sentimental values that the show promotes. For example, one tweet promoted being strong opposed to skinny, a value promoted by a contestant. These people probably live tweeted the event in order to promote these values of the show, support the show in general, and counter the haters mocking the show. The pop culture accounts didn’t seem to choose a side. They were live tweeting dramatic tweets about a contestant, Ruban, who was eliminated and probably live tweeted in order to promote their organizations.

I feel that the producers of The Biggest Loser were trying to create an emotional and inspiring identity for the show. They seem to have created the show in order to motivate others to live a healthy lifestyle and through reality-based challenges each episode and a split into teams, a hope for people to cheer on the contestants. However, like many shows, the consumers appear to both relate to this and then completely disregard this identity and create a mocking, foolish identity of the show. The live tweeting was effective in showing this distinction between fans and haters. It allowed their opinions to be shared and reflected upon American culture both cheering on and mocking obese individuals trying to lose weight. It also shows that the opinions were strong enough to persuade the people to indeed use this time. Though producers may try to create a certain response, American culture will always establish its own especially through the increased use of media.

Tweets

  • @falenkdwb: “I want to punch the guy running on the treadmill wearing a cowboy hat on The Biggest Loser!” November 5th
  • @aaronup: “It’s Tuesday at 8pm, time to watch the biggest loser, rub one out, and eat frozen cookie dough.” November 5th
  • @fitby15: “@HollyMangold reminds me of @BL11Courtney how she wants to be strong not skinny, amazing role models for me and my generation! #justcrunchem!” November 5th
  • @BL11Courtney: “NO one should ever be disappointed in a number on the scale as long as they know they put in 150%. The # is only PART of it! #JustCrunchEm” November 5th
  • @Kenzie_Clair: “Watching the biggest loser while casually munching http://flwr.it/BL1504 on some Oreos #inspirational” November 5th
  • @DietsInReview: “A devastating week for Dolvett’s red team http://flwr.it/BL1504. See the exclusive #BL15 recap by @TanyaWinfield over @iVillage.” November 5th
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