As Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term as President of the United States, social media was abuzz with real-time pictures, posts and tweets of all the 2013 Inauguration Ceremony activities. One might assume that the focus of this historic day would center around outlooks and plans for the next 4 years, however such themes were soon overshadowed in the social mediasphere by slightly more…sensational headlines.
#Inaug2013 related tweets were being sent out at a frequency of up to 14,062 TPM (Tweets Per Minute), and while the politics at hand were certainly discussed, hot topics such as the first family’s fashion choices, Michelle Obama’s new haircut, the celebrities in the crowd, and the ceremony’s musical performances permeated newsfeeds all over the country. Before Beyoncé even set foot on the inaugural stage, there were over 23,000 tweets about her and her highly anticipated performance, so imagine the social media explosion that followed when she not only performed the national anthem, but was believed to have lip-synched the song on such a historically significant day. It should come as no surprise that the social media craze surrounding “Beyoncé -Gate” has earned a spot as this week’s Viral of the Week.
The question that weighed on everyone’s Twitter handle was, “Did she, or didn’t she?” While the debate has allegedly been settled, social media has once again proven its enduring influence in today’s world. Whether we’re physically present at an event or watching from the comfort of our couches, sending out updates through any and all social media networks has become second only to breathing, and even that is up for argument these days. What started as a musical performance at a political event was further amplified, parodied, scrutinized and sensationalized to the point where the name at everyone’s fingertips before, during and after the Inauguration was “Beyoncé”.
While Inauguration Ceremonies come and go, social media stays, and the power of the tweeted word continues to prevail. For all those who want the cold hard facts of the lip-sync scandal of the decade, see Stephen Colbert’s report on the issue.