#trending: Twitter users debate the 'right' way to use a drink carton straw
SINGAPORE — A tweet posted on Sunday (June 19) has sparked a viral debate on the "right" way to use the bendy straw of a drink carton, with greatly divided opinions underlining just how badly many people want to drain every last drop.
The light-hearted controversy began quietly earlier this month when Twitter user "ikitorp", from Sweden, posted a graphic showing a discovery made by his two-year-old daughter, who "insists on inserting the short end of the bendy straw" into the carton.
The graphic shows two different ways of inserting the straw into the carton. The "wrong" one shows the long end inserted first, a practice most would probably follow, while the "right" one shows the short, bendy end inserted first instead.
The argument in favour of this novel approach is that consumers often have to put in extra effort to reach the corners of a drink packet with the straw, tilting or squeezing the carton in order to do so.
The picture shows the short end angled nicely into the bottom corner of the carton, making it easier to "get the last dregs" of the drink out, he reasoned.
The tweet has seen more than 41,200 retweets and 4,100 comments, with Twitter users lauding the young child as a "genius" and predicting that she will pursue climate science or engineering in future.
One top comment, with more than 620 retweets and 29,400 likes, exclaimed: "Somewhere, the inventor of the bendy straw is shedding a single tear. Finally... someone got it right!"
Some Twitter users then began to respond in jest with their own drawings of plausible drink carton scenarios.
The debate exploded online last Sunday when Twitter user "romanbuso21" posted an edited version of the original graphic, lamenting: "My life has been a lie."
The tweet, which backs the two-year-old's approach to straw use, attracted more than 97,900 retweets and 30,500 comments.
Twitter users quickly took to their respective corners, with one declaring: "I'd rather live a lie."
Some noted that the sharp edge of the long end is "to pierce through the seal" and the ridged bend is "to ensure the straw does not fall into the box easily", posting photos with markings and diagrams as evidence that the new graphic is wrong.
Still others were simply amused by the fervour of the long-end enthusiasts, poking fun at them for "doing analysis on a ****** straw".
A top response criticised "romanbuso21" harshly: "Do you understand why the other side is sharp? Stop misleading people."
In reply, another joked: "Because it's for cleaning the tooth."
Meme accounts on other platforms have picked up the viral image, prompting social media users from around the world to post their own attempts at trying out the short-end method in real life — and it appears that at least some of them have proven the long-end fans right.
Though one successfully carried it out with "not a drop wasted", many others testified that the shorter end of the straw is "way too short" to match the length of its drink carton. Without the bend to act as a stopper, it is likely to slip straight in and never to surface again.
"You have to use a paper straw plus have the fine motor skills of a two-year-old!" Twitter user "ikitorp" said in response to one such experiment by a South Korean user.
In return, the user quipped: "Now that I know it, I won't fail next time. Thank you."
Other social media users who tried it out for themselves had wise words for the curious: "Don't believe everything you read on the internet."