That Feeling You Get When You Mess Up And Everyone Sees It

I just opened an email and noticed a mistake.

A big one. Huge! Obvious! No way it's not a mistake!

When building the email newsletter — or perhaps when creating the article itself — the writer or editor wrote the headline in front of the "Headline Goes Here" text.

So what I got was a newsletter with a fairly normal headline and then Headline Goes Here tagging along for the ride. Man Bites DogHeadline Goes Here, in other words.

This was my train of thought when I saw it:

  • Whoops. Someone made a mistake.
  • I've done that before.
  • I bet that person felt his or her stomach drop into his or her feet when he or she saw that headline and realized it was live. Not a proof. The email got sent out like that to potentially hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of recipients.
  • I bet that person feels awful right now. Like a failure.
  • How do I feel that this person made a mistake in the headline, though?
  • I ... I don't really care. I feel bad for the person because I know how he or she is feeling right now. But on a scale of 1 to 10, this affects my life at about 0.

So why do we react to things that are 0s for everyone else like it's an automatic 10 for the universe?

Should we care if we send out newsletters with typos in the headlines? Of course we should.

But should we question our worth as human beings if we don't send perfect newsletters every single time? To that, an equally emphatic "of course we shouldn't."