While we show an awful lot of love to certain old technologies like instant cameras and vinyl records, pay phones are relics that are more or less left to fall to pieces on the streets that we no longer wander cell phone-free :( That is, until a filmmaker and his pal decided it was about time to spread the love, and in more ways than one.
Matt Adams and his sidekick Katie took to the streets of NYC and used one of the still 1,000 working city-wide pay phones as the center of a heartfelt social experiment. The goal = to see if he could convert the old school phone into something as exciting to modern urbanites as a free wifi hotspot and get the fine people of New York to reengage with the dial up dinos. After sprucing up the phone booth with a DIY sign that read Call Someone You <3 and taping it up with quarters, Adams + co watched, waited and woo!-ed (probably quietly) as strangers started picking up and dialing their fam, boos + bffs collect.
Much to our delight, Adams placed a hidden mic above the receiver + hidden cameras surrounding the park and was able to record each callers heartwarming chats and smiling faces.
So many smiling faces — just from picking up a pay phone! Maybe it was the nostalgia that made them grin from ear to ear (remember that cord crackle?), maybe it was enough to hear your sweetie’s voice on the other end of the line, or maybe it was the act that these folks found so refreshing: Taking a break from your daily routine (and looking up from a smart screen) to make a connection with the things around you and the people most important in your life. We’re sure the unprompted phone call made mom’s day, too.
According to Adams’ blog, this is just the first of a three-part video + photo series that “aims to bring New Yorkers together by engaging them in positive activities in the most unexpected places.” Where’s next — subway stations, hot dog carts, taxis? While we wait for the next shoot to go viral, check out the first installment below.
What do you think about this social experiment? Would you take part? Tell us in the comments below.