LYNCHBURG, VA. (WSET) - A recent college graduate is walking to get a conversation going about having conversations. It's part of Chris Andrews' journey from DC to LA called "Let's Talk" instead of communicating with cell phones.
Only 11 days into his cross-country journey and he's walked more than 150 miles to have one big conversation with America.
"We're less willing to go speak to our neighbor, we're less comfortable with speaking face-to-face," said Andrews. He says we're disconnected from the connections that surround us.
Instead, Andrews says, we gravitate toward our phones and social media.
"There's something very safe about it, there's something very secure, there's an identity that's protected on the phone," said Andrews. But sometimes he says even he struggles with it. "It's always on you, it's in your pocket, so why not pull it out when you've got a second?" he said.
It's not the use of digital devices that worries him, but what is lost when we lose ourselves in it all. "You know, empathy, patience, these are all attributes that are really essential and I think that I started to notice that," he said.
Which is why he decided to walk instead of bike or drive the nearly 2,800 miles from D.C. to L.A.
"I wouldn't be talking to many people, you know, just before you guys got here I was talking to a man on the corner that I probably wouldn't have," said Andrews.
So far, he says people have positively responded, having conversations about conversation. "People like talking about this, I think it's something that is on their minds," he said.
Andrews stays in a tent that he carries in his cart that he usually pops in someone's yard.
He says people have been extremely generous and hospitable.
Next, Andrews is headed to Roanoke.
He still has around 2,600 miles to go and hopes to arrive in Los Angeles by March 1.