Special Report: night water tweets hit different

A special Friday edition of the newsletter to report on a wellspring of night water content posted on Twitter last week.

Special Report: night water tweets hit different

Night Water is coming to you with a special Friday edition of the newsletter to report on a wellspring of night water content posted on Twitter last week.

It all started with this two-part tweet from New York Times staff editor Willy Staley:

@willystaley on Twitter: "The best Twitter feature no one's asking for: A daily leaderboard. The top posts. The biggest numbers. I need to know. We all do. We need something to strive for."
@willystaley on Twitter: "One day, I'll be at my Smart Mirror, brushing my teeth before bed, and I'll ask it: 'Show me today's top post.' And it will pull up some random guy saying 'night water hits different' and getting 2 million likes. And I'll have a glass of water and think, Damn, that is true."

From there, my timeline was drowning in night water content from Staley and his friends and colleagues:

@willystaley on Twitter: "Is it me, or does a glass of water just hit a little different in the middle of the night?"
@alexnpress on Twitter: "night water hits different"
@jonahweiner on Twitter: "day water is good but night water just hits different"
@i_zzzzzz on Twitter: "Night water really does hit different though."

Nothing makes me happier than seeing a geyser of night water content across my timeline, but I was curious about the inspiration behind the original tweet. I reached out to Staley on Twitter, and thankfully for both me and loyal Night Water readers and drinkers, he was willing to answer a few questions.

When imagining the top tweets of the future, what inspired “night water hits different”?

I’d seen a tweet that did 1.5M likes and it read: “I can’t sleep without creating a fake scenario in my head.” I think the author meant, you know, daydreaming, but at night. (But it’s sort of ambiguously worded, and can also be read as referring to dreaming-dreaming—another thing that makes it an ingenious tweet.)

Anyway, I figured if you want to write big hits, you’ve gotta reach for relatable experiences, maybe especially stuff that involves sleep and bedtime. People love sleep and bedtime. And it’s indisputably true that it’s nice to drink water in the middle of the night. As for the wording, I don’t know, it just came to me that way. Sounds like a tweet that could do a few million likes, right?

Were you happy with the response to your night water posts and the night water content of your friends (as far as anyone can be happy posting)?

I reject the framing here; posting is a lot of fun. And yes, I was happy to see people, for once, understanding and embracing my use of irony on the platform. That said, no one has gotten a million likes yet, which remains the goal.

@willystaley on Twitter: "'Willy' S5E4, 'Night Water': After slaving away for weeks on a 4000-word feature, Willy tweets out a four-word sentence that winds up having a much bigger impact—teaching everyone at The New York Newspaper Magazine a profound lesson about the power of social media."

Do you think you’ll return to night water content in the future?

Happy to sit back and watch.

Do you personally believe that night water hits different?

I would never lie on here. Especially to a guy who has a whole newsletter about night water.

Is there a lesson here for the Night Water newsletter as I attempt to piggyback on the popular conception of night water in order to build a profitable media enterprise? Or for Night Water readers as they attempt their own internet virality? As the waves of possibility wash over us, only one undying truth is clear: water consumed at night has a certain quality to it.

@willystaley on Twitter: "It's honestly staggering how many people have already tweets 'night water hits different.' Feeling very humbled by this experience."