There is a curious and kind of enjoyable Twitter phenomenon that I’ve uncovered over the past two and a bit weeks, and it goes like this:
People LOVE IT… fracking love it, when I make a small mistake in a tweet.
I have been doing it consciously every once in a while just to gauge response – some slightly off math, or a misspelling – and the reaction from people has been very interesting.
By and large, what I’ve gathered is this – people love to find little errors and point them out, but they don’t do it in a mean way, or to poke fun – they do it participate and engage. Where most of the time I get responses to things that are very sort of one-sided, basically things shouted at me from across the street, but when I make a little goof in a tweet, I get people really jumping in to make a note of it – correct it – talk about it… and the numbers of people doing it go way up.
Now, this might seem like a no brainer – people like to feel superior and point out your faults – but I don’t think that’s it, I think it’s a lot more akin to people mingling or hanging out at a party, and here’s how I see it.
Twitter is a big party, let’s say – and everyone’s looking for a way to make friends or get noticed or talk to someone… but we need excuses, we need reasons – plausible reasons to walk up and say “Hi there!” And on Twitter, and perhaps in life, a mistake opens that door.
Me f–king up in a post gives people the chance to say hello – to wave and not feel that they have nothing to say. It’s a little opening that lets everyone have some fun, and doesn’t make them feel that they’re out of line, because they’re trying to be helpful – and who doesn’t love that?
So, could this be applied to a social setting? If I’m at a party and don’t know anyone – would the best course of action be to leave my fly unzipped, or spill salsa on my tie? Possibly – it’s at least something to talk about… though I’ve done both of those at parties and have not become instantly popular, so who knows?
Clearly what we require are more data points! So you should give it a try – make a mistake on Twitter and see who points it out… they might just be trying to say “Hello.”
Or, they’re just know-it-all assholes – but either way, it’s a science.
Enjoy the day, learn a thing or whatever.