Talking To Strangers

I have been thinking of a few different ideas for my Activity, and one theme that keeps arising is how we interact with people that we don’t know. We’re constantly thrown into situations where we have to communicate with a stranger, whether it is buying something from someone in a shop, ordering your lunch from a drive-through radio box, or asking someone for directions.

There are so many different options available when communicating with a stranger, and I would like to explore these further and document the results.

Initially I will be focusing on the most very basic of options, such as remaining silent and only giving the bare minimum of information, such as approaching the counter of a cafe and only saying “Green Tea” and handing over the required amount of money.

Gradually the level of information and options will be expanded, on the next time I will be allowed to smile, and say ‘please’ and ‘thankyou’. Exchanging small pleasantries will be next, as I comment on the weather or the quality of the service.

Eventually the exercise will (theoretically) snowball to the point where I am telling strangers my deepest secrets and asking them how they feel about complex issues such as abortion.

Another idea I had was to go out of my way to talk about the weather with people. Weather talk is usually reserved for awkward moments while you’re in an elevator with someone or accidentally make eye-contact at a bus stop. This happening could involve me driving passed a pedestrian, getting out, asking them what they think of the weather, getting back in my car and driving off.

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