20 Day Stranger: Mobile App Lets You Follow A Stranger For 20 Days

May 13, 2014: This app lets you exchange intimate details of daily life with a stranger for 20 days. Is this cool or creepy? We’re going with both.


“The grass is always greener on the other side”.

Oh, please.

This trite adage has been used too often to perpetuate mediocrity and complacency the world over. Why shouldn’t you go see for yourself how the grass on the other side is?

MIT Media Lab lets you do just that. Their latest app is out to help facilitate this exploration. Now, you can live vicariously through a stranger’s life for twenty days, thanks to 20 Day Stranger. Yes, you can peer into another person’s life and get a good feel of what it’s like to walk in their shoes.

You are literally following them. Oh and the best part: your identity is never revealed. Neat right?

How The App Works:

Two anonymous folks get connected with each other over the app, making this exchange between two unknown people at a time. The app does the match fixing for you. It fixes up two users up and then gives them morsels of updates collected from several social media apps like Instagram and Foursquare. For example, if you’re getting a Tattoo, the person following you will get “Tattoo Parlor”

It keeps exchanges basic yet intimate information between both matched parties. Here’s an image of the different scenarios of two people and how their information is displayed.

This is what the designers explained this terribly cool and creepy app: “For 20 days, you and a stranger will experience the world in your own way, together. You'll never know who it is or exactly where they are, but we hope it will reveal enough about someone to build your imagination of their life... and more broadly, the imagination of strangers everywhere.”

The cow (pictured above) is overextending himself to get a taste of the grass on the other side of the fence. The cow looks particularly uncomfortable. This serves as a poignant simile of the asinine lengths human being will no longer have to go through to experience a reality different from their own.

In respect to the grass always being greener on the other side: wouldn’t you much rather be afforded the chance to inspect both terrains before deciding whether the grass is always greener on the other side or not? 

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