What would it look like if your entire Facebook friend list suddenly popped to life?
Probably like the world's weirdest cocktail party.
"Oh hey girl I slept with in college, this is my seventh-grade science teacher."
But where many of us see awkward encounters, Ty Morin sees a chance to shed our digital skin and actually, maybe, hopefully have some meaningful reconnections. That's why the Connecticut photographer is setting out to visit every one of he Facebook friends -- and "friends" -- in person. All 788 of them.
"The goal of this project is to reconnect with people. No more hiding behind the screen of social media," he writes on a Kickstarter page, where he's already exceeded his goal of raising $5,000 to fund his journey.
"Stop looking down at your phone and pretending you're texting your BFF when you walk by an old friend from high school. Lets get out there and remind people what it's like to have a face to face conversation with someone."
Morin is going to do more than just chat with his assorted college friends, colleagues' spouses and third cousins nobody in the family ever hears from unless they post a caps lock political rant on Facebook that always ends with, "THINK ABOUT IT!!"; he's going to photograph each person doing something they love with a classic 8x10 folding camera.
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The hour-long process of using the camera will allow real interactions to happen, which Morin says would never be the case if he just used a digital camera and it was point, click, leave.
"The idea here isn't to get everyone in a room and fire off hundreds of pictures one after another. I want to sit down with everyone and witness what gets their blood pumping."
In a video (below and very recommended) he made about the project, called "Friend Request: Accepted," Morin said after he began meeting up with his friends, "I began to realize there was something bigger going on, something that really brought us all together. We’re all passionate about something."
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He's already documented a day with a friend who's a firefighter, one who's a tattoo artist, a dancer, another who's a serious weightlifter and a woman about to do something with a blow torch.
Morin guesses the project will require about three years of his time -- and plenty of travel. Some of his Facebook friends live in Spain. But no matter. Wasn't the whole idea of social media to shrink the distances between us? Here's a peek at what it looks like when that actually happens:
Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN