One man’s caffeinated answer to a Facebook dilemma
You’ve all been there. Browsing through your Facebook friends, pondering who should stay and who should go. You want to pare down your list because as you grow and change, you deem certain people unworthy of your time, even in the social media realm. Thus, the cleansing of your Facebook friend list begins. BUT WAIT! Instead of clicking the unfriend button so hastily, have you considered doing the opposite?
That is exactly what Matt Kulesza decided to do. Instead of purging his friends list, Matt decided to make a real effort to reconnect with each one of his 1,088 Facebook friends over a cup of coffee. His endeavor, now known simply as “1,000+ Coffees, a project by Matt Kulesza,” started in September 2014.
Matt created Tumblr and Facebook page with a straightforward description: “I plan to have a one-on-one coffee with every single one of my 1,000+ Facebook ‘friends’ over the space of the next three years, or as long as it takes to complete. An exercise in remembering to socialize with and get to know people outside of the ‘book’.”
As a Digital Agency, Matt’s story inspired us so much that we reached out to him to ask him a few questions about his project. Matt said, “I believe that everyone has an interesting story to tell if you dig a little deep; everyone has something valuable to teach others in life.”
Can you describe your creative process that brought this idea to you?
Matt: I’m fully aware that I don’t have 1000+ friends in real life. One night I was about to start culling down my Facebook friends, I asked myself “could I have a coffee with this person?” before deleting them. I decided to put this idea into practice and so far it’s been one of the most life-changing decisions I’ve ever made. The idea has started to develop over the last month and now as well as reconnecting with people for my own personal growth and social experience, I’m taking the opportunity to celebrate the humans that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting over the years and showcasing their stories and lives.
Describe the balance you’re trying to achieve between the physical and digital world?
Matt: While I’m a huge fan of social media in general and use it religiously, I do find it hugely fascinating that we’ve reached a point with social media that people are so interested by the concept of my stepping outside of the digital friendship arena to see people for coffee IRL. It’s an interesting sign of the times and the media, and if anything I hope that it encourages people to reconnect with old friends, communicate and get to know people on a deeper level, break down boundaries and try to understand the differences between people from different cultures, sexualities, gender identities, age groups and belief sets.
Currently, you’re using Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter to promote your project. Am I missing any? Which of these social media networks receives the most engagement?
Matt: 1000+ Coffees is on Tumblr and has a Facebook page, both of which have pretty even engagement in their traffic and followers. I mainly use Twitter as a news feed and for personal stuff. I’m also studying and am hugely interested in North Korea, and my Instagram (mattkulesza) is currently posting photos I shot while on a recent two week trip I did in North Korea. While I’m not denying that North Korea has one of the worst human rights records on history and is one of the world’s most repressive regimes, my Instagram channel aims to show people another human side to the North Korean people that isn’t commonly shown on documentaries on the country.
There’s no denying the truth to Matt’s answers. Through social networking, we can stay in touch and reconnect with people from our past, present, and those geographically far away. It’s significantly improved communication, however I think it’s important to always maintain human interaction beyond social media. While social media serves as an effective means of connecting, we must remember that there will always be a different and broader connection that can only be made in the physical world.
As we continue to follow Matt’s journey, we’re constantly amazed by his story. We’ve enjoyed every single one of his coffee updates, thanks to social media, and we hope that his adventure also inspires you.
As Matt said, “I’m taking opportunity to celebrate the humans that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting over the years and showcasing their stories and lives.”
Who will you celebrate next?