Life Cycle of a Dumb Tweet

1

For whatever reason – not enough food with the wine at dinner, a coup d’état in the brain where the amygdala seizes control, or just a moment of weakness – someone in a position of prominence and authority posts a Dumb Tweet.
man chuckling as he types

2

Others read the Dumb Tweet and retweet it – often with a brief annotation, such as “OMFG” or “#fail” or “Can’t believe this jackass!!!” or “OMFG #jackassfail”
outraged people reading on a mobile device

3

The tweet becomes a trending topic locally, and a journalist notices it.
graph showing viralishness rising over time

4

The author of the Dumb Tweet gets a panicked call from their press office.
tweet's author gets a phone call in bed at 2 am

5

The author shrugs it off, either as a joke or a normal part of the cut-and-thrust of conversation.
the man says Pshaw. Really, he says Pshaw.

6

The author discovers that the cut-and-thrust of conversation is a lot less fun when that reaction fuels a whirlwind of criticism.
man being chased by arrows

7

The author issues a half-hearted non-apology.
man saying Fine. I'm sorry you're stupid.

8

The whirlwind becomes a firestorm.
man, burned, runs from a conflagration

9

Someone in the organization stages an intervention and conveys to the author that something more apology-esque is in order.
another person shakes the man

10

The author delivers a grovelling, if not entirely sincere, apology.
man on his knees, begging

11

The author carries a lingering sense of resentment that plants the seeds for the next Dumb Tweet. And the circle of life continues.
man walks away under a cloud

Whaddaya think?