Talking to Strangers

Tonight I posted my phone number* to three hundred twitter users and asked them to get in touch with me over the period of an hour.  My number was then reposted to thousands of other people.  I was overwhelmed.  I ended up having 5 conversations, getting 4 voice mails, receiving text messages from 43 people and getting 82 calls (most of these missed as I spent over an hour talking).

I’d been quite nervous before doing it – I even brushed my teeth in preparation, in hindsight that was a bit of an odd thing to do.  I posted my number at 7pm and didn’t hear anything for a few minutes.  I got worried and then got very embarrassed.  I’d made a fuss about what I was doing so getting no response was a little humiliating.  After about ten minutes the phone calls started…

First I spoke to (going to have to use twitter usernames here) MmeGuillotine. We talked about her job – she answers questions for 63336.  We also talked about Aberdeen and accents.  She asked who would play me in a film (she said that a geeky Julianne Moore would play her) but I refused to answer.
Then I talked to James Ward. He was on his way to meet his friend who may or may not be a cannibalistic lawyer.  He was very nice.  He told me that he only got out of bed at 2pm, I was jealous.  I worried about him because he was in an alleyway but he soon made his way to a pub.
I then got a call from thehittvshow. I disappointed him by telling him that I don’t like football.  I told him that my friend supports Fulham FC and that seemed to upset him even more.  He had a voice that I could imagine in a Guy Ritchie movie.  I liked that.
I got a quick call from bubblyjack. He said he liked the messages I’ve been leaving in public for strangers and that he was going to make some too.  Good.
Finally I spoke to bigmouthedwoman. She had taken time away from crocheting a technicolour blanket to speak to me.  We talked about her job teaching English as a foreign language; the difficulties of having a relationship with an Italian and the novels of Julian Barnes.  She had a very soft voice and she giggled a lot.

So all in all I think that was a success.  Thanks to anyone who phoned, texted, tweeted or followed me tonight and I’m sorry if I missed any of your calls.  I’m looking forward to doing this again.

A recording of the voicemails I received.

(*I used a PAYG sim card, it was not my actual phone number.)

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5 thoughts on “Talking to Strangers

  1. @GeeDubya67 August 15, 2010 / 10:21 am

    Great idea – very clever… Haven’t bothered to listen to ansaphone – but were any of these Tweeps people you already followed or were followed by?

  2. lewis dryburgh August 15, 2010 / 10:24 am

    Thank you! I already followed three of the callers, the other two had only started following me yesterday.
    When I posted my number I had 294 followers, after an hour I had 341 so I think a lot of the texts were from new followers.

  3. Innes August 15, 2010 / 12:02 pm

    Great idea! I love all these projects you’ve been doing 😀 I’m going to be back in Aberdeen next week if you’d like to meet up for a coffee and a chat at some point? 🙂

    • lewis dryburgh August 15, 2010 / 12:06 pm

      Thanks Innes, I’d be up for that. Give me a text.

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