Here is the story…
It was 2 p.m. and I had just ended a long conference call. I was due for some fresh air and remembered I had a couple of things I needed to pick up at the store. Away I went.
I was in the mood for a snack, but nothing too heavy. I wandered to the chip isle, searching for a little something to nibble on during my workday. One particular bag caught my attention, as it had a delicious looking chip and a bold “20 grams of protein” printed on the front. I had never seen these before but figured it was worth a shot.
I got back to work and proceeded to open my healthy treat. It was a very unique taste that I can only describe as “cardboard healthy.” You know, the kind of bland crunch topped with an array of seasonings in attempt to mask the true taste. And although they aren’t mouthwatering delicious, you still find yourself eating them?
Well, I kept eating them.
In fact, the next morning I went back for round two after my morning coffee. I still wasn’t sure if I actually liked the taste, but hey, they were decent enough to get by until lunch.
After a few more handfuls, I turned the bag over and began to put them away. And that’s when I saw it.
“1 CRICKET PER CHIP”
Oh, the horror that ensued as I realized I had probably consumed a solid 40-50 CRICKETS!
The pigment left my face and I could instantly feel the contents of my stomach—fairly certain they would be making their way back up.
I turned the bag back over and realized I had missed some pretty obvious signs. For starters, the picture of the delicious looking chip was sitting on HUGE letters that read “Eat Bugs” and right underneath that a line that read “barbeque cricket chips.” I wandered how I had missed all this.
So, feeling betrayed, grossed out, nauseous and doubtful of my reading skills, I decided I needed to talk about it.
I took my story and turned it into a Facebook rant.
It was truthful, emotional, dramatic and yet humorous. How could it not be?! People took notice and soon the comments, likes and shares rapidly increased. Some felt bad for me, some called me out on missing those red flags, some justified the nutritional benefits and some laughed so hard they had tears in their eyes. Soon people were tagging their friends and I had a sea of strangers joining in on my post.
Yep, I am now officially the cricket girl.
Here is the takeaway…
This all goes back to a post I wrote a few months ago regarding the key to going viral… emotion.
I argued that feel-good content is primed for social sharing because most people seem instinctively drawn to the sentiments of joy, amusement, happiness, anticipation, surprise and hope.
The truth is, I never expected anyone to care about my insect ingestion. I figured it would simply spark a few laughs amongst my friends and family. But it is also serving as a very big reminder to not take life too seriously, to remember the human element behind each post, and to always, always, always read the labels.