No Show

Ok. I waited until 10:20 but no one showed up. In terms of the experiment, what does this mean? It could mean several things.

Perhaps no one saw my tweet. Of course, I know that’s not true – at least one person saw and acknowledged it, yet even they did not show. There could be any number of reasons for that, too – forgot she had a class, was trapped under a heavy object, got lost in MacHall on the way – but let’s not go there. Let’s look at this as an exercise in mass communication, and ask: “Did communication occur?”

I sent an invitation.

Perhaps my invitation was not timely enough? Was 24 hours enough notice: If I had said “next Tuesday, at 9am” would there have been a different response?

Was the message unclear? I know that the words “free” and “bevy” were used conjunctively, but perhaps the rest of the words were cryptic and just confused the issue. Did the maximum 140 tweet characters allowed play a part in this?

Perhaps the prize (free beverage) is to blame. It was not attractive enough. I should have promised a Porsche, or paid tuition – then people would have positively rioted to attend. Perhaps a lousy $5 drink wasn’t enough to get people out of bed!

Perhaps no one in COMS201 had a class just at that time, and couldn’t justify getting their asses all the way to campus just for a cup of coffee. Or, conversely, perhaps everyone in COMS201 (except me, of course) had a class and decided it was best not to skip that class just for a bevy.

Of course, there could be something about me, personally, that caused the experiment to fail. I’m a bit of a goof sometimes, so maybe there was no incentive to take me seriously. Also, I’ve had a cold lately – perhaps I somehow communicated this fact in my tweet and it became the deciding factor in the mass absence.

Perhaps the message in the tweet was clear enough, but the recipients were untrusting. “Who gives away free coffee!?” they may have asked, and decided thus that it was too good to be true. “Don’t take candy from strangers” they have always been told, and with coffee being for students morning candy, it stands to reason that they would shy away from the offer.

There are so many possibilities. We may never know for sure why no one showed up. Whatever the reason, it is interesting to speculate on how and why the communication itself may have failed.

Anyway, I still have the same problem: I have a beverage to give away, and am now going to have to think of another way to do it.

J

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