Can you create a connection with a stranger in one minute? Last night, participants engaged in what’s being called “the world’s largest eye-contact experiment.”
The 1-Minute Eye Contact Experiment is a global movement to reject social media and create actual social connections with the people around us. The idea is simple: Put down your phone and actually look into a stranger’s eyes for one minute. You might laugh, you might cry — you might even fall in love.
In NYC, nearly 2,000 people signed up to take part in the experiment, which went from Houston Street to 50th Street along Broadway from 5-8 p.m.
Local organizer Amy Silverman, founder of The Connection Movement, which hosts various socials every month, knew that going against the social norm of avoiding eye contact was a big ask.
“There’s this thing in our society, especially in New York, of not making eye contact,” said Silverman. “We sit on the subway and we keep each other as strangers."
Instead of expecting offense or hostility, something very different happened when strangers made eye contact.