Open For a Surprise!


Ashton Blackwell, ENN Staff

Tap, refresh, retweet, like, repeat. The constant interactions within Twitter, by its estimated 974 million users, are what many of today’s youth thrive in.

Recently, Twitter has been brimming with the increasing trend of “Open For a Surprise” tweets, along with tweets blatantly asking that you do not open them. The main reason for the increasing popularity of these tweets is due to the fact that the first thing many users do, is open them followed by a retweet for others to do the same. Each time an “Open For a Surprise” tweet is clicked on, people almost always see a photo of a cute dog staring back at them, yet they repeatedly open the tweets as if they are anticipating a different result.

Lake Ridge Sophomore, Mallory Buchhorn, notices her repeated practice of opening these tweets, despite how many times she has seen them before.

“Everytime I see the tweets I know what they are, but because it is really tempting to open them, I open them and retweet every single time. I usually open them because I feel that if I don’t, I could be missing out on whatever it might be,” said Buchhorn.

In regards to other trending yet tempting tweets, Twitter consists of another branch of “Open for a surprise” tweets, that greet the user with things like “Retweet or get bad luck for the next ten years” or “Retweet or you will fail your exams” in an attempt that these random typed threats will bring popularity to the tweet. As meaningless as these tweets seem, they very commonly get thousands of retweets in a matter of days, or sometimes hours.

Sophomore, Jacy Berna, finds herself avoiding altogether or retweeting these tweets from fear that they might actually bring truth.

“When I see the tweets, they are tempting to open because they are right in front of you and I want to know what they say. I often retweet them because reading them gives me anxiety that they might be real. Even though I know they’re not,  I retweet them because I don’t want any chance of it happening,” said Berna.

The increasing use of technology, and our reasoning for repeatedly opening tweets when we know the results, however, is no coincidence. Free time filled with technology creates greater opportunity for large amounts of activity in both social media apps, and the internet in general. Psychology teacher, Christopher Allen said smartphones fulfilling boredom contributes heavily to our desire to repeatedly view a tweet.

“Our minds want to be occupied and smartphones have started to fill that void of occupation. So, even if they go to the same tweet over and over again and they know what it’s going to say, it’s just filling that space of time and boredom in our minds,” said Allen.

Whether it is through a cute photo of a puppy, or a threat saying that without retweeting we will be cursed for the rest of our lives, the temptation and control brought with technology fills more of our minds more than we may realize.