Just because You Can Count it, Doesn’t Make it Count

hashtagOver the weekend I was at a play in the Gate Theatre. Under Alan Stanford’s direction, The Constant Wife is already a resounding success. OK so Peter Crawley of the Irish Times thought it sucked and Ailbhe Jordan of The Mirror was perhaps less harsh in recognizing the thing for what it was – well produced, (perhaps a little overly) familiar and enjoyable. So the ‘influencers’ (God I hate that word, although it may have partly been my fault) have bestowed their less-than-gushing opinion – quite fairly and accurately.

And the social media coverage has been somewhat less than digitally deafening (two tweets that evening specifically).

And yet, the seats were full.

And will be so, I imagine, until the thing finished up August 20th.

The Constant Wife you see is the Instagram equivalent of avocado on toast.

Yes, you’ve seen it before. Yes, you probably will see its likes again and no, you don’t really want to see other people going on about it.

But dammit – you like avocado on toast. Maybe you even love it. So do I.

And that’s OK.

It sure sells avocados anyway.

And by the time I tell my flatmate, friends and everyone in the office who are also non-theatre experts, about the enjoyable evening, it will sells seats too.

Long live the avocado.

Which is why it baffles me how so many brands and businesses spend so much of their time deciding whether a campaign, event or even a product was a success based on how many of us decided we were either bored enough or felt self-important enough to talk about it on an online public forum. Particularly on Twitter.

Or for that matter, how many people saw what their ‘influencer’ of a day they’re currently crushing on said.

I know we all like the easy way out.

But just because you can count something with a nice little dashboard and grab some nice images, doesn’t mean it means anything.

It doesn’t mean that platform is relevant to the audience. It doesn’t mean your big night was a success. I mean – Jesus – some of the best nights I’ve had involved not being able to find my phone or even care where it was for at least two days.

And it certainly doesn’t mean the bottom line of the brand has been effected in one exacting way or another.

Yes it’s good to have.

And yes having people rave about your ‘thing’ is a good ‘thing’ in the grand scheme of ‘things’.

But it’s not the be all and end all.

Just because you can count it, doesn’t mean its always a thing worth counting. 

So whether it’s a brand or even on a personal level, can we please stop automatically presuming ‘X’ (amount of likes, hashtags, RTs, snaps) equals’Y’ (people like you more).

If we are going to count beans, lets please remember that not all of them turn into beanstalks.


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