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Can you detect a “fake” mistake from a real one?

Posted by Ilise Benun on

I made a mistake last Friday. I sent a promotional message that was meant for one group to a very different group of 187 people (to whom it wouldn't have made much sense). Plus it was only a draft, so it wasn't finished and the links weren't live.

The minute I realized what I'd done, I got that pit in my stomach, as if something really bad had happened.

It hadn't. I had just made a mistake (a common occurrence) borne of inattention and quick clicking. So I quickly whipped up an "oops, sorry" message and sent it right out, literally 5 minutes later.

Several people wrote back right away to say it wasn't a problem and to ease my mind. Others, however, seemed a little suspicious, almost implying it was one of those "fake" mistakes.

You know what I'm talking about, right? The "oops, we forgot the link" message. Do you get many of these? Can you tell which are fake and which are real? What do you think about these?

And more importantly, what does it say about us that we resort to "fake mistakes" to stand out in the clutter?

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