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Do you know the date of #Cherylsbirthday?

Everyone will have their favourite equations be it; A = πr2, E=mcor a+ b= c2

However, if you’re in charge of the social media for your company, or just want to be the next internet sensation, you might benefit from knowing this new equation:

Maths problem + Poor English = Viral sensation

On April 10th Kenneth Kong, a television host in Singapore, posted the following maths question to his Facebook page, and within a couple of days it had even made it on to the New York Times Science page:

From Kenneth Kong's Facebook
Now if it seems straightforward to you, you’re probably someone who understood Inception the first time round. Either that or you’re used to a lot of unusual maths questions from your High School Textbooks.

To the rest of the world it’s caused a debate as big as the dress. With people seemingly fairly well divided between two main answers – but a quick check around the Facebook comments and Twitter you can find an argument for every date.

Now there are a lot of reasons why these things are becoming viral phenomena, but I think at its core ambiguity sells. In this particular instance, due to the quality of the written English, misinterpretation is easy. People use their Social Media as a beacon for their opinions and a chance to suggest that their opinion is the right one. That’s probably why you’ve seen so many pre-game tweets, and Political rants on your Facebook feed coming up to the General Elections. If the coin is still in the air people are going to be shouting the outcome.

I'm in no way suggesting for you to go out and write a cryptic message on Reddit, or post hieroglyphs on your Pinterest (not saying it hasn’t worked in the past – though we try to forget the Mr X conspiracies) but people like having something to discuss or align themselves with.
But, hey, maybe the next major trend will be the number of legs on this elephant or how many squares there are but I can already predict some level of debate and obscurity.

Since Cheryl has tried so very hard to keep her Birthday a mystery, in a way tantamount to The Riddler, I’ll avoid posting my interpretation in this article – I’ll post that on Twitter for the attentive.

Adam Coster

This is what happens when a recent Human Biology and Psychology graduate, now pursuing a career in Engineering, is allowed to write for a Social Media Blog. Not a regular writer but managed to refrain from not placing as many cat pictures as he did in his dissertation. Follow him at @AdamAtSMF


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Do you know the date of #Cherylsbirthday? Reviewed by EskimoAdam on Thursday, April 16, 2015 Rating: 5

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