If you include Twitter followers and Facebook friends, the average person has more relationships today than they would had at any previous point in history. In many ways, this is a beautiful thing. Being able to easily connect with individuals all across the planet means that people have unprecedented access to a wide array of diverse narratives and opinions, as well as unrestricted platforms for sharing ideas and civil discourse.
While the sheer size of the social media landscape makes for loads of intriguing content and stimulating conversation, it can also make it hard to foster a sense of individual closeness. When everyone is concerned with keeping track of the hundreds of distant family friends, moderately friendly coworkers, and well-heeled community members that make up their social media circle, finding the time to really bond with a new person can often be surprisingly tricky.
Show & Tell is a new mobile app that is dedicated to making it easier to close the gap between acquaintanceship and friendship. It combines Instagram-style selfies with traditional charades, tasking players with an acting challenge that they must perform on camera. One person might be asked to try out a french accent, while another player tries their best to act like a snake. The video is then shared with other players within the user’s friend circle, who try to guess what concept is being conveyed.
The application taps into the same sense of candidness that has driven the popularity of nation-wide phenomenons like the Ice Bucket Challenge, which prompted thousands of social media users to douse themselves with buckets of iced water. Seeing someone do something light and silly makes it easier for other people to relate to them on a more personal level. In this way, Show & Tell shows us a future where meaningful interpersonal relationships can be built a couple of minutes at a time.