Countless Twitter polls are created every day, and most of those polls don't get crazy amounts of engagement. Occasionally, though, a question is so provocative that it floods Twitter with responses, and a fierce debate breaks out. This happened last week to Ryan Nixon, a New Zealand resident with just over 1,000 followers who asked whether there were more doors or wheels in the world.
What is the wheels and doors debate?
The wheels and doors debate was a pretty simple debate about whether there were more doors or wheels in the world. Ryan Nixon asked the question in a Twitter poll which received more than 220,000 responses, with wheels emerging as the victor with 53.6 percent of the vote. Although that victory was pretty decisive, plenty of people continued to debate the question even after they'd voted in the poll.
Everyone seemed to approach the question with slightly different logic, and there were bitter debates about things like whether wheels occur in nature, what counts as a door, and a plethora of other topics. One person argued that cars and trucks are net zero, but there are doors on things with no wheels like ships and buildings, which makes doors the favorite.
Other social media users responded with specific products that had an insane number of wheels, suggesting that the existence of those products alone made wheels the more likely answer.
Of course, there are also things like lockers, which are basically just a series of doors lined up in a row.
Some users thought it was a runaway victory for either wheels or doors, but there were others who argued that the total between the two may be closer than we think.
Are there more doors or wheels in the world?
Clearly, the debate over whether there are more doors or wheels in the world was one everyone felt qualified to have an opinion about, and people came to pretty different conclusions. Wheels may have earned a victory in the poll, but there are clearly people who still believe they can sway the wheel voters to change their vote.
Does the question have an answer?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as no one has ever gone completely insane and tried to count the number of doors or wheels in the world. Because the debate has no definitive answer and also basically no stakes, it can be debated endlessly online. In that way, it's like something like "the dress": a debate that everyone had an opinion about but no one could really answer definitively.
These kinds of low-stakes debates may seem trivial when compared to the state of the world, but for some people, these harmless arguments are a much better way to engage on the internet than the heated, sometimes vitriolic debates over other issues that can spread on social media. The door and wheel voters can come together and agree on their shared humanity, even if they disagree about this one particular thing.