Please don’t tell me you were not one of the estimated 14 million (yup, I said that right, 14 MILLION) people who tuned in to watch Sharknado 2: The Second One that aired on the Sci-Fi channel earlier this week. Not only did I watch it, but I did something I haven’t done in years – watched a live TV movie or show. I – along with millions of other people – watched so that I could view the epic horrible acting with one eye and turn to the other to my Twitter feed, littered with the most entertaining sense of community that only 140 characters or less than bring.
One – In an era where people record TV shows only to watch them later while skipping through as many commercials as possible, Sharknado 2 is a standout in that people clamoured home to watch the movie in real-time to follow along with the live and hilarious tweeting of others. In an era where pretty much only big sporting events are watched live, this means big dollars to advertisers who are able to cash in on a captive audience who has no ability to skip, skip, and skip their way past their ad. This is good news for all: networks are able to sell their advertising during the event for a premium and the advertisers ensure people are getting their message.
According to Nielsen Twitter ratings, there were 581,000 tweets about the movie during its premiere — 83% more than the original (318,000). At several points during the movie, nine of 10 U.S. trending topics on the social media platform were related to “Sharknado.” – Variety
Three – Perhaps the least commercial of motives, but for a brief fleeting moment on Wednesday night I was able to forget about the horrific fighting in Israel, the raging civil war in the Ukraine and the countless other terrible stories flashing across the news cycle. For a rare moment, people found common ground in stopping to appreciate the terribleness of the Sharknado and felt like they were part of a larger community. One of the most common criticisms about social media and the electronic era is the lack of community and sense of belonging, things that were, for 100 minutes of flesh eating dueling Sharknado action, put aside.