Beyond the question itself - which was captivating like most good mysteries - that sense of coming together, creating the story together, was enchanting. It formed a space of belonging. Each of us, no matter our age or gender or politics, could participate in the puzzle, could share it with others, could be in the conversation. I'm sure that was what helped it go viral.
a white dress ... and the cardigan is actually light purple
This happens with the greatest stories of our civilisation - the destruction of the Berlin Wall, protests against the Vietnam War, and so on. People enjoy being part of events as much as they enjoy the events themselves.
I remember when Harry Potter first came out. People were not talking about the book itself, they were talking about the experience of buying it or reading it. They were telling stories about adults buying it for their children then reading it themselves on the plane trip home and loving it. People began buying the books to be part of the experience.
It happens with sad stories too. I was vacuuming the floor when I first heard about Princess Diana's car crash ... Being able to personally connect with the story in some way gives us a sense of belonging, and the bigger the story becomes, the bigger we feel in ourselves and the smaller, closer, more homey, the world feels.
The interesting thing about such viral stories is that they don't require a special gatekeeper. Usually, stories become hugely successful because important people mention them. But sometimes it's just about the momentum of excitement, humour, happiness. I like that best of all. It's more genuine.
I'm putting this all badly. But I hope you see my general idea. We want to be together. We want to share experiences.
Isn't that wonderful?