Luke Johnson, of Phoenix, Arizona, wants you to call him. He's launched what he calls the Luke Johnson Phone Experiment and he's asking total strangers to call him up? and talk about anything. He outlined his proposal on the popular video-sharing site, YouTube.
In his video, Luke talks directly into the camera, holding up his cell phone. He looks like a typical 20-something, with shaggy dark blond hair, and an easy-going attitude? just the kind of guy you might want to talk to? say if you're bored and trolling the Internet. "The idea behind the experiment is to find out how many people will call me, if I post my cell phone number on the Internet for the whole world to see." The number appears at the bottom of the screen as he continues, "I want you to call my cell phone right now. I don't care why you call and I don't care what you say."
Since the video was posted in September, Luke's answered more than 60,000 phone calls. He carries his cell with him all the time, ready to talk to complete strangers about anything. He's taken calls from all over the globe? from France to Afghanistan, Japan to Australia, India to Korea. He's a walking conversation hotline. "For the most part, people just want to find out what caller number they are," he says, "and then they want to just say good job, keep it up. There are people who will want to talk for a long time." He's talked to some of his callers for hours.
Luke says the experiment is fun, but taxing. The first week, he says he didn't turn his cell phone off at all, not even at night, and that he grew exhausted and sleep-deprived. His wife thought he was crazy? but has patiently gone along with the experiment. "I did have to set some boundaries," he admits, especially at work. Luke manages a sales team at a for-profit university, and when his boss found out about the phone experiment, he told Luke to stop taking calls on company time.
What's weird about the Luke Johnson Phone Experiment is that even Luke Johnson can't really explain why he's doing it, or what he hopes to get out of it. "I like trying things that are really different and that people haven't done before," he says. Asked for an example, he offers one that he calls 'a fun idea,' to try on the most pairs of underwear. "So buy the smallest pair, and then the hugest pairs and buy hundreds of pairs," he laughs, "and just one over the other and get in the Guinness Book of World Records for wearing the most pairs of underwear!"
Or it could be that some people just have a need to communicate.
Luke can be reached at +1-602-435-3694. You can bet he's waiting for your call. Be warned though: as his video spreads virally across the Internet, and more and more people call him, it's possible you might just get his voice mail. As of Sunday, February 11th, he'd received 69,570 calls.