Feeding Friendships is a Brazilian campaign that introduces stickers in order to nurture friendships and social interaction between passengers in public buses.
Public transport buses used to be a social space, a place where two working mothers would regularly meet on their way to work due to their similar schedule and chat about their kids and their blooming gardens. It was a place where teenagers would screamingly discuss their school day on their way back home. The public bus was even a place of revolution; place where Rosa Parks wouldn’t give up her seat. But all of that changed! Now what you see on the bus is people engaged with their gadgets and very rarely do you see them engaged in the conversations with random people they just met on the bus.
The Feeding Friendships campaign was developed by marketing agency Mark+ and is targeting the unsocial environment by placing stickers that encourage the passengers to meet the people occupying the seats right next to theirs. This “social experiment” is being conducted in Pelotas, Brazil.
Each vehicle received 5 stickers that mark the seats reserved for those passengers that might be interested in a conversation or are just keen to experience something new on their way to work/school/party. Incase there is an ice that needs breaking, the stickers are equipped with post-its that have several themes of conversation written on them and can be used to start off the chitchat. While there are plenty of seats that still offer isolation, the stickers serve as a reminder to the passengers that there is another way to spend the time commuting to and from their designated destinations.
As much as I enjoy disconnecting myself on the bus rides, I think that technology has pushed us too deep into an isolation hole and that we need a reminder of the simpler times when being addressed and invited into a conversation by a stranger was not something you considered weird or were afraid of.