Sadly, the domain iamnotanashole.com has already been registered.
Yesterday, in the presence of a particularly serene Los Angeles skyline, I ventured with Aaron S. to the ‘Who Killed Jesus? Easter Dinner Party.’ The festivities, put on by our rather magnanimous friend Glenda, reminded me of ‘The Ball‘ — an annual Christmas Eve party dubbed by LA Weekly to be “a bigger deal than the parting of the Red Sea.”
Straight out of a 90’s sitcom, her apartment was lofted over a karate studio—complete with neon sign illuminating the porch—and was unlikely to hold a few hundred Jews. Never-the-less, Glenda pulled out all the stops to inject the Easter spirit (if that’s a thing) everywhere possible. The host/hostess of an event sets the tone and Glenda was a jovial melody.
For a group of people that were largely brought together for the first time by a singular mutual friend, there were an abundance of stories shared openly and without hesitation. It’s something special when you meet people who are willing to dive deep with you so quickly and skip the more shallow topics like “what do you do for work?”
The story I share with you today happened there, but… not there.
Having consumed two particularly strong whiskeys, I sauntered to the fridge for water. As I did, my phone vibrated and I pulled if from my pocket to see what the world had in store.
Last week, when I relaunched Ghost Influence, my developer installed an app called LiveChat which—after a few seconds—pops up a little chat box. It looks like this:
The popup is automated and so is the first message, but as soon as someone clicks inside that box—even before they send a response—I get a notification on my phone that a visitor has started a chat. And that’s exactly what had happened as I was walking to the fridge.
Slightly drunk Excessively tipsy, in a particularly friendly mood, and with absolutely no agenda for the conversation with this complete stranger… this was was our interaction:
I don’t do college counseling, I don’t offer professional therapy, and in no way could I be considered a career coach. Yet, I had the—not entirely sober—opportunity to make a complete stranger feel a little bit better about a stressful decision they were facing.
I am “Random Internet Man” and it feels damn good.
Rich R. once called me “a contemporary, hip version of Ann Landers (aka Dear Abby)” and the notion seems to have taken root in my psyche (as well as my Tinder profile).
I could highlight a few lessons here about the power of breaking people’s schema, “selling” by building relationships, or just making the effort to live your truest self. However, instead of the typically introspective observations for inspiring action I’m going to give a prompt…
Go fourth, with no agenda or expectation, and make a complete stranger feel loved.