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A platform where strangers exchange their lives for a week

Image credit: The photographer Richard Renaldi asked strangers to pose with people they didn’t know for close, intimate portraits, as part of a multiyear project called “Touching Strangers.”

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Dec 23, 2021
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A platform where people exchange their lives for a week. Move into another person's home. Take care of their job, family, and responsibilities. Hang out with their friends. The other person does the same for you.
  • Experience life circumstances of other people.
  • Get away from your responsibilities knowing that they will be taken care of. Reciprocate by taking care of someone else's responsibilities.
  • A form of working vacation.
  • A radical way of meeting new people.
  • Travel almost for free.
How it works
A platform that filters people by various criteria and matches those that are complatible with each other's life circumstances. Both people have to be able/willing to do each other's jobs and take care of each other's daily responsibilities.
The selection process for compatible matches is similar to that for dating apps. If two people select each other they can proceed to have a chat and decide on all the details.
An important aspect of the exchange is taking care of the other person's job. The employer should obviously consent to go along with this.
Before any exchange takes place both people and their families should provide proof that they are who they say they are. IDs, utility bills, video of the home and all family members in it. Various bits of info that the other person can independently verify.
Making people feel welcome
Before the exhcange takes place, every side should provide a welcome video where all the family members and friends who will be hanging out with the person introduce themselves and say a few welcoming words.
Training day
When you arrive to the other person's home, people call you by their name. Everyone plays along. They remind you what "you" like to do and when. They help you get it right. You become the other person:)
You get a phone containing the phone numbers of your new family and friends. Your new friends pick you up to hang out. You drive the other person's car. Show up at their job. Your new co-workers all play along.
Intimate relationships
You are probably wondering what happens to intimate relationships. We don't know:) People probably won't tell us.
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General comments

jnikola2 years ago
Seems cool at first, although I must admit there are many obstacles. I am intrigued by how an employer would react if you work in a company as a software engineer and a plumber guy come to replace you :D. Concerning security, this seems like a new great way to kidnap someone or flirt with somebody's wife. I think that in order to make this a pleasant experience, people should be 1000% honest and benevolent all the time (which I doubt). I can already see newspaper titles.
But, maybe I am too harsh. In Croatia, we had the show where you "swap" wives between two families. They took care of the other person's family, housework and relationships, etc. People actually applied, so yes, your idea could probably work, too. True, I never saw them replace the others at their workplace. Also, maybe it would increase the safety and engagement if the idea would be implemented as a TV show. People tend to behave differently in front of the cameras and possibly, decide to actually be nice :D
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
juro the first sentence of the "how it works" section deals with the employer obstacle which you mention:)
Filtering for compatibility would deal with most of the issues that you raise. Including jealousy/insecurity. It's not an issue for some people for various reasons.
For example two single people without a job, this would feel like swapping places on Airbnb and meeting a bunch of people when they get there. For others, it would require getting out of their comfort zone. This would obviously not be suitable for everyone.
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jnikola2 years ago
Yes, I read it, that's why I started thinking about it. Due to the fact that many jobs require highly skilled and educated personnel, this could exclude many people at the start. But yes, concerning your second paragraph, this would be suited for certain groups of people, just as the other reality shows. 👍
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