How much raw data about your life do you share online in any given day? What about over the course of almost three weeks? Take Instagram, Foursquare, and Google Street Street View and mix them vigorously in a large pot, and you have 20 Day Stranger. 20 Day Stranger is an iPhone app, available by request and by invitation only, that gives you a unique and revealing insight into the life of someone you'll probably never meet.
The premise of 20 Day Stranger is simple; you're connected with someone whose identity you will never know, and for 20 days you share with them the locations you are at, the activities you are undertaking and the tiny snapshots of your life you're preserving. The other user responds in kind, and for that 20-day period you'll learn as much about this person as they're willing to share.
Of course, you presumably have to have a certain open attitude towards sharing your info and your daily life to make 20 Day Stranger work. It's not an especially new app, but it's an interesting idea. 20 Day Stranger is open for alpha testing if you have an iPhone 4 or newer Apple handset, although you have to apply to participate.
20 Day Stranger is an experiment from the MIT Media Lab's Playful Systems Group, and the Dalai Lama Center for Transformative Ethics. It is a mobile app that creates an intimate and anonymous connection between you and another person.
For 20 days, you get continuous updates about where they are, what they are doing, and eventually how they are feeling, and them likewise about you. But you will never know who this person is.
Does this change the way you think about other people you see throughout your day, any one of which could be your stranger?