Twitter and the “The Biggest Loser” effect

Posted on 30 April 2009 by RChurt

You must have seen at least one episode of NBC’s The Biggest Loser by now…well even if you haven’t seen it but probably heard about the fact that these people who go on the show lose 100+ pounds in 16 weeks. Awesome, right. What does this have to do with Twitter you may ask? I will tell you my theory…

It’s pretty admirable that extremely overweight individuals are first of all taking the initiative to get themselves healthy, which for some to now finally lose the weight that they’ve lived with for so long, is something they thought they would never overcome. That’s pretty admirable, but that’s a lot of weight to lose in such a short time. The contestants on the show literally work out up to 8 hours or more a day, plus they have supervised workouts with trainers, health and nutrition experts, sports medicine therapists etc.

My thought has always been that there is no way that someone can lose that amount of weight, in that short a period of time when they are by themselves at home and probably have to work for an income too. People can lose the weight and they should definitely get started, but the show surely gives some viewers the impression that they too can lose that much weight by themselves in that time frame.

My worry is that someone who is extremely over weight will get inspired, start working out and not lose 10 or 20+ lbs in one week or even one month and then give up.

Now here’s where my theory connects to Twitter…Does Twitter have the “The Biggest Loser” effect?

A recent article posted through Mashable talked about the phenomenon of “Twitter Quitters”, which highlighted the fact that a large number of users new to Twitter are quitting a short time after they join (though it did stipulate that retention rates were higher since Oprah joined). Have Twitter and it’s mass of celebrity users given the impression that you too can have 1000s of followers/fans (or millions if you are Ashton Kutcher)?…Are these new Twitterers perhaps quitting because they join and feel like no one is listening, no one cares, and they may have the expectation that they too can become an online sensation?…If you subscribe to my theory, then you too may agree.

It’s no secret that we live in a very vain society where immediate gratification and fame is what most lust after. Shows like The Biggest Loser, and celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, while they mean well and do inspire some to a point, they also create social losers and false hope.

That said, I am not advocating that you should not work out, nor that you should not join Twitter or follow celebrities. I think you should work out, and do it for “you”. Do it to get healthy. Do it to because you want to. Do it as a lifestyle change, for the long term with a realistic outlook that change doesn’t happen over night. And for those of you joining Twitter…join because you want to. Because you care to listen to what others are saying, or whatever reason you may join, but don’t expect to have an league of followers by tomorrow…everything in its due time.

So what do you think? Does Twitter have “The Biggest Loser” effect?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Tracey Says:

    Great article. People do expect quick results – in just about every aspect of life. If something isn’t quick and easy, they give up.

  2. Steve Robins Says:

    Rebecca,

    Very thoughtful article. On the face of it, Twitter looks like it’s all about tweeters and their followers. But to understand the real (and often ignored) power of Twitter, you have to think of Twitter as just a shorter 140 character version of the Web. I.e., just like the Web, people will look for and find information of interest to them. Followers are interesting, but being found by search is even more interesting because it covers a limitless universe of Twitter readers.

    What’s more, those tweets also refer to other tweets and websites. In that way, Twitter becomes an additional organic index to other parts of the web. Tweeters and followers? That’s just the beginning.

  3. RChurt Says:

    Steve,

    I completely agree, on Twitter people follow you because they want to follow you – talk about permission marketing.

    Thanks for the feedback.

Leave a Reply

About the Author


Put on your thinking caps - I am, Rebecca Churt, an Inbound Marketing consultant, and am here to share my thoughts (and only my thoughts) on blogging, SEO and social media.

Contact me if you are a health business, nutritionist, life coach or personal trainer in need of marketing assistance or interested in having a custom blog for yourself. See examples of my design work.

You can also follow my most recent work at

Recent Posts