Steinar Skipsnes was tired of spending so much time on his phone. So he came up with an idea: use his phone to foster more organic interactions with actual people.
Over the course of a year, Skipsnes did his best to meet a new person every day. After he met someone, he documented each new introduction on his Instagram account Daily Hello.
"We eat, talk, walk, stand, workout, and you name whatever else, all while heads down on our phone," Skipsnes told A Plus. "I started to think about how I wanted to go out of my way to talk to more people, which turned into the idea of meeting someone new every day for a year."
Over the course of the year, Skipsnes found ways to interact with people throughout the day. He'd talk to strangers in the grocery store or at the gym and ask if he could take a selfie with them. Some would be interested, others wouldn't, but he said the responses were mostly positive.
"One person I met, we sat down, and had lunch together for an hour," he said. "Some people said that they were honored to be a part of this, which is an honor to hear."
Throughout his quest to meet new people, Skipsnes ran into everything from the fascinating to the awkward. One man he met, named Justin, had a story about meeting the president of Uruguay while hitchhiking in Europe. The man was picked up by the president's security detail and ended up meeting him on a helicopter pad.
In a more "awkward" interaction, Skipsnes said he ran into a woman outside the grocery store who asked for money. When he gave her five dollars, she hugged him and held on for 15 seconds while he tried to let go of the hug, "which is years in hug time," he said.
Afterward, he asked if her if he could take a photo and ended up using it as his Daily Hello Instagram post.
During the beginning of Daily Hello, Skipnes actually deleted Facebook off of his phone to try foster more moments with actual people.
"I don't want the temptation to fill various micro moments in my day with looking at my phone," he said. "I want to be fully present wherever I'm at, and make myself available for a casual chat that can be just that or that can lead to a friendship."
Thanks to that strategy, he was able to meet people during various little moments of his day-to-day life: walking down the sidewalk, getting lunch, shopping on the same aisle as someone, working out at the gym, on an elevator, walking the dog, filling up with gas, and even inside a doctor's waiting room. During all those conversations, a lot of people told him it was hard to make friends. But he's convinced with a little effort we can all tap into some more organic interactions.
"There are great things happening around us," he said. "We just need to keep our heads up, and our phones in our pockets more."
You can view more pictures of his year on his Instagram account here.
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