20 Day Stranger App: Exchange One Person's Experience of the World with Another
Article by George Norman
On 22 May 2014
Imagine an anonymous way of sharing your experience of the world with someone and getting a glimpse into that someone’s world. Imagine two anonymous people connected for 20 days via an app and getting to see where the other person goes, what the other person does, and what the other person feels.

That’s what the 20 Day Stranger app invites you to do: anonymously connect with someone else for 20 days and exchange your experience of the world with someone else.

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MIT Media Lab’s Playful Systems research group and The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values invite you to participate in an experiment that goes something like this: via the 20 Day Stranger app for iOS you can connect to someone else; your life is presented to that someone and that someone’s life is presented to you via the aforementioned app. You will get to share your experience of the world and you will get a peek through a tiny window into a wider world.

As the app’s name points out, you will get to share your life for 20 days. Where you go, what you do, what you feel will be shared with someone else. The same goes for that someone else.

“20 Day Stranger is an iPhone app that reveals intimate, shared connections between two anonymous individuals. It's a mobile experience that exchanges one person's experience of the world with another's, while preserving anonymity on both sides,” says a brief description on 20daystranger.com.

“For 20 days, you and a stranger will experience the world in your own way, together,” the description continues. “You'll never know who it is or exactly where they are, but we hope it will reveal enough about someone to build your imagination of their life... and more broadly, the imagination of strangers everywhere.”

According to Kevin Slavin, director of MIT Media Lab’s Playful Systems research group, this social experiment is meant to produce empathy instead of suspicion, contempt or disdain.

Please note that the 20 Day Stranger app is currently in Beta testing. You can apply to participate in the experiment by visiting the aforementioned 20daystranger.com website.




Tags: Apple, iOS, 20 Day a Stranger, MIT, experiment, social
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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