The Ice Cream Experiment
I have a hard time relating with most of the people I’m connected with on social media. I know we don't see eye to eye on a lot of social issues and it makes communicating awkward. It feels like everyone is their own island nowadays. However, on a whim, I decided to share the old ice-cream truck display from when we were all kids. I didn't think much of it or that I would get much of a response, but the results were staggering.
“The Ice Cream Experiment”
All of the sudden, I received dozens of responses in my DMs from people I barely talk to, and also from people I know that I disagree with on most topics.
People really opened up to me and were excited to talk about it. People told me which number(s) they picked when they were a kid, and explained why they did. It exposed all these unique aspects of their upbringing and thought process. Even though they didn't pick the same ice cream I would, it didn't matter. It was so interesting to interact with people with whom I hardly had before.
We are all different in our unique way, but nostalgia can unite us.
The person who believes in Universal Basic Income and the person who believes in staunchly protecting the border can rarely sit together and talk. There are numerous racial, gender, and religious issues that keep us apart, but everyone likes ice cream.
I am not saying we should divert attention away from the critical social issues that are tearing our nation apart by instead talking about our childhood ice cream selections. But if we talked with each other about what unites us as much as we did about what separates us, we may find ourselves getting along better. If we can see each other's perspective through exploring childhood nostalgia, we may be able to work better when solving issues together as a society.
Channeling your childhood, we can once again tap into the curioisty and innocence that comes with youth, which can push out some of the resignation and rigidity that is reigning over at the moment.
So…you weren’t a kid in Chicago during the 90s. You’ve never seen this truck before. What about your favorite breakfast cereal or candy?