Q1 : How can you promote face-to-face conversation while simultaneously using social media as one of your mechanisms to spread the word? Isn't this a contradiction? 

My attempt to disseminate a message about the importance of face-to-face conversation through the faceless medium of the Internet seems counterproductive. In truth, as Sherry Turkle notes, it is a paradox. However, I need to take advantage of the Internet as a tool through which I can encourage people to leave their screens and just talk. 

The Internet is an amazing source of information, so I want to ensure that I utilize this resource as a way to share my journey with others. My hope is that this website serves as a launch pad; encouraging viewers to go out and engage in conversation with people. In short, my online presence is focused on promoting a healthy balance between technological communication and human interaction. 

Q2: How do you define or quantify your success? 

Success happens daily. Although the journey ends when I arrive at the Pacific Ocean, I believe I can appreciate and share the completion of my goal in every conversation. This trip is about the stops along the way, the spaces in between, the people that I meet. Success begins on Day 1 when I see a stranger and start to talk. What I want is simple. I want to interact with other people. 

In addition, I am planning on speaking with local communities and schools along the way. When analyzing the output of my journey, I consider my interactions with these specific communities indispensable.  

Finally, I am collecting, compiling and sharing stories from people I meet along the way. I hope this creatse an example of what face-to-face conversations are capable of. A portrait of America that celebrates the very medium that made it possible. 

 

Q3: Why run? Why not bike or drive across the country?

I am running for three reasons: 1) I want to slow down, 2) I want to return to the basics, and 3) I want you to join me. By crossing the country on foot, I can best achieve these goals. At a slow pace, I am more available to speak and connect with the people I encounter. Further, to run is to return to a basic mode of transportation, and this regression reflects my aim to get in touch with one of the most basic characteristics of being human, namely, the desire to connect with others. Finally, as I spend days both running and walking, I hope that this calm and simple form of travel acts as an invitation; I hope that you will join me. Visit the "Run With Us" tab for more information about how to become a part of this journey. 


Q4: How can the public become a part of your journey? 

During my trip, I am constantly searching for people to join me. I hope to get local schools involved by asking running clubs or teams to run with me for a few miles. Sharing this journey with others is certainly a key to the success of this project. The more I can interact with others in person, the better. I hope to use my online presence as a link that helps the public join us along the way.