Jake Reilly decided to go three months without a Cell Phone, Email, Social Media and TV. He felt that he and his friends were almost always communicating electronically, he wanted to get back to face-to-face friendship.
“I ride my bike a lot, so, I’d ride my bike over to people’s houses and leave them messages in chalk on their sidewalk. I set up a couple of systems with people where, when they got home, they would put something in the window, like a stuffed dog, or put a pumpkin up on the ledge that meant “Hey, I’m here. Come talk.” I started having fun trying to dream up different ways to get people’s attention.”
He did end up going back to social media, but the old-fashioned kind, the written kind:
You posted several of the notes you received from friends during your isolation. One note read “Jake, I’m pregnant. Call me.” What was that about?
Reilly: Ha! At the school, there’s an elevator. No matter where you’re going, everyone has to use the elevator on the ground floor. So, for the people that I went to school with, that was the first place we’d post projects or memes. I didn’t say this is my message board, but one of the girls just started leaving messages, like, “Hey. I’m on the fourth floor. Come find me,” or “Jake, where are you?” It’s a very public forum, so everybody can read it. It became my message spot.
Then, people almost treated it like a Facebook wall. It evolved from leaving messages for each other, to joking around, like, “Jake, your mother called. She said she doesn’t love you anymore,” and “Jake, the cops are looking for you,” and all this stuff. It turned into a funny thing.”