Drop that device and look into someone's eyes

Amy Silverman founded the Connection Movement to encourage us all to interact in person rather than through a screen.

- Think of this a little like a silent flash mob requiring no rehearsal, producing little noise, and making some of us a little uncomfortable. Amy Silverman enjoys staring into the eyes of a stranger and not speaking.

"I'm really enjoying actually looking in your eyes," she said. "We imagine there'll be some giggling, there'll be some tears, there'll be some talking, there'll be some shyness."

Silverman founded the Connection Movement to encourage us all to interact in person rather than through a screen.

"We have several hundred eye-gazers ready to meet New Yorkers," she said.

Thursday, Silverman and a team of volunteers joined more than 100,000 people around the world in what they deem the planet's largest eye-contact experiment, inviting those on their devices to stop and stare for a full minute.

"It's really sad to see how many of us are lost in our technology and not connecting with other people," Silverman said.

Dr. Jeff Gardere, a psychologist, said that abandoning our electronics can lead to empowerment. "This is going to feel very weird and awkward to a lot of people because they're not used to looking at anyone for any extensive period of time," he added.

Like Silverman, he agreed that whatever changes we might strive to make in this world we must all see each other as fellow human beings.

"Not just digital sparring partners," Silverman said.

The event took place for several hours around Washington Square Park, Union Square Park and Madison Square Park.

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