So, Miley Cyrus at the MTV Video Music Awards happened. Despite my firm belief that Miley’s performance will be looked back on in 10 years and deemed tame, it’s generating quite a bit of controversy. First, there was the backlash to her sexualized romp with “Blurred Lines” singer Robin Thicke. Then there was the backlash against the backlash. I think we’ve reached the backlash to the backlash to the backlash stage. Or maybe we’re beyond that. I don’t know. I guess it’s the Madonna/Britney Spears kiss of this generation. The whole thing makes my head hurt.
But here’s the thing. No matter how much you want to stand tall on your high horse and act like it doesn’t matter, it matters. It matters because, as an event, the Miley Cyrus twerk fest generated nearly as much Twitter buzz as last year’s presidential election.
According to Twitter, the peak tweets per minute during Miley Cyrus’ performance was 306,100. I’ll let Twitter put that into context:
“For a sense of scale, last year’s VMAs had a peak at 98,307 TPM, whereas election night last year saw a TPM peak of 327,452 TPM.”
Smilers! My VMA performance had 306.000 tweets per minute. That's more than the blackout or Superbowl! #fact.
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) August 26, 2013
You can discount Twitter all you want, but that’s a lot of tweets about any subject going out during a single minute in time. And if you’re still discounting Twitter as a trendmaker these days, well, you should probably rethink that.
The other top tweet-making moments from the VMAs fall like this: Justin Timberlake featuring NSYNC, 219,800 TPM; Drake, 194,500 TPM; Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech, 189,300 TPM; and Kanye West performing “Blood on the Leaves” (awesomely, might I add), 181,200 TPM.
About all that stuff I said above, about all of this actually mattering. To quote this week’s episode of The Newsroom, I guess I believe about 60% of the stuff that I just said.
Image via Miley Cyrus, Instagram