Award shows come and go every year. They pass through our television sets and social media feeds with the same stars walking the stage and thanking their fans. The People's Choice Awards do something a bit different.
Voting gives us a feeling of connection to the world around us. In a society where it feels like the media is thrown at us from every angle, the opportunity to vote on what we like best might give people a sense of power. In an awards show like this, the choices are limited to massive pop culture influences. Why aren't we bored yet? Maybe it's the power we feel when our hands hit the keyboard, or maybe it's the fun in playing democracy as if we're playing house. Either way, voting is a tool we use as a culture to make choices together, and that's important.
There are many different kinds of people's choice awards, from Aboriginal People's Choice Awards to Choice Awards in Business. These kinds of awards are popular because they feel community based. The opinions of a few might control the nominations, but they don't control the outcome.
The internet gives us access to massive amounts of new music, films, and personalities. The options are bigger than they have ever been before. The Teen Choice Awards have incorporated internet personalities into their awards shows with great success because teens are connected. More people are turning toward the internet for their entertainment because it feels more like a choice.
Award shows are annual, so they end up being recaps of the year before. They also end up being time capsules as we love to re-watch old ones for that warm and fuzzy nostalgia.
Many think that the media and popular culture control us, but that's not entirely true. Philosopher and media scholar, John Fiske, studied popular culture and discussed it's influence. He noted the importance in how we use popular culture, our reactions to it, and how it fits into our lives. We have more power and resistance than we think, and with the ultimate connection of the internet, we have more power over the media than ever before. We have flickers of ourselves in the popular culture around us.
The People's Choice Awards aired for the first time in 1975. According to Wiki, the voter's choice was once unlimited. I assume that if they did that today, the outcome would be very interesting, especially with all the entertainment choices we have at our fingertips.
Award shows turn into pop culture events in themselves. They are pumped up and advertised as exciting. We watch them for those moments we don't want to miss, even though they take up a whole evening. They go hand-in-hand with a sporting event.
Fan bases are heavily connected through social media. They have the power to trend on twitter for days, and lead conversations in every corner of the net. Fan fiction has been widely read and even optioned for films. Fan art is everywhere and is often celebrated more than the professional photograph. The fans call the shots and control the culture.
Competition is a huge part of our dominant ideology. There's something in the seconds before a winner is announced that makes our hearts beat a little faster. It's even more exciting when our votes control the game. We're the players.
Is this awards show the same as the rest? It is similar to all the rest, but it's a way of saying "your turn". It might not change anything in the bigger picture, but we can use this as an example of how we can take voting into our own communities as a practice for changing things. The excitement of feeling connected can move into more aspects of life. The power in having a voice doesn't have to be trapped inside voting for "best actress" or whatever. It's your turn now.