I love making and sending letters. I love it because of the way it makes me feel to send a splash of color to someone’s day, and I love the warmth I feel when I receive something. It’s a designed artifact that connects people. So I put it to the test in my neighborhood.
I prepared five notecards and paired them each with a postage-stamped and pre-addressed postcard. Each note was of slight variance, using words such as “I’m doing a social experiment,” “my friend just moved to the city and doesn’t believe New Yorkers are kind, can you help me change that?” I introduced myself as a neighbor and asked them to send the postcard. I signed them all with Cameron.
I stuck the cards in five doorways on my street. It’s three weeks since I left them, and I have not heard from any of my friends that they received cards. I addressed the cards to five friends by their first name only, and did not tell them that they might be receiving cards. My assumption is that should they receive a postcard, they would ask me if I knew anything about a random note from a stranger because a) they might recognize my handwriting in the address and b) I’m notorious for postcards and random little notes in the mail.