See One Guy’s Simple Idea Go Global

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 This morning I was watching Lorraine, which featured a guy called Jeff from New York City – who, incidentally, was very lonely. He had just had a bad break up and wanted to connect on a basic human level with whoever was willing, so decided to print lots sheets of paper advertising his telephone number and urging anybody who felt like it, to call. Before long, his advert had gone viral and people from all over the world were ringing him up to offer him advice as well as talking about their own problems. He had calls from prisoners on Death Row, bed ridden people, stock brokers and homeless people. The advert wasn’t selective – it was open to all and Jeff described how people just want to connect with another human being and have a chat without talking to somebody reading from a script or charging a fortune.

I love the idea, because it shows that while all this crazy social media has made us all anonymous and voiceless (in terms of actually speaking words, as oppose to typing them) there is still an inherent desire to talk to somebody over the telephone. The next best thing to chatting honestly to a friend over a cup of tea. It’s cathartic and a middle finger to all those feelings of loneliness that come hand in hand with FB and Twitter that people sometimes experience. Jeff didn’t put his email address on the flyer, he put his telephone number, and while I’m sure he got some unusual/perhaps creepy calls – he said on Lorraine that the majority were just lonely and hugely interesting people. And he had so many calls that he has now made a book full of all the interesting talks he had. I love a heart-warming phenomenon!

Even Bret Easton Ellis posted on Twitter: “The most powerful reading experience I’ve had in the last year is a new book called Jeff, One Lonely Guy by Jeff Ragsdale. A new art form…”