Place 200 strangers from all walks of life – bloggers, dating/relationship coaches/experts, lawyers, doctors, retail workers, defense contractors, artist, musicians, models and engineers in a confined space and provide them with a small reason to talk to each other. Stir them up, and let them mix.
The idea behind “The UML Social Experiment” of the Unbreakable National Convention (UNC) 2010 originated from my undergraduate days at The University of Maryland, College Park. This particular “couple-pairing” event was one of many social “ice breakers” engaged upon by the students of the University.
As soon as the male participants arrived at the venue (i.e. Hudson Restaurant and Lounge), they were asked to find the creator of the UML blog, Ethan Bishop. Similarly, as soon as the female participants arrived, they were asked to find famous resident guest blogger, Trinie Le Blanc.
Once you met with Ethan or Trinie, you were given a coaster card with a name written on the back. This was your card for the night. If the card said “Juliet,” you had to find the person with the card “Romeo” from the crowd. If you were “Han Solo,” you had to find “Princess Leia.” Contrary to popular belief, your card was not chosen for you beforehand, the card chose you!
If you didn’t know who you were partnered with then tough luck, you had to find that out too through any resources at your disposal. Some chose to ask strangers outside of their group who “Anna Karenina” had been married to, while others simply used Google.
There were wild cards. If you were “James Bond,” you had to physically collect 3 girl’s cards, present them to Ethan Bishop, and receive a free martini, shaken of course. If you received “Queen Elizabeth,“ the Virgin Queen who had no mate, you were allowed to order a drink of your choice on the house. (Editorial Note: James Bond took less than 10-15 minutes to collect all three cards. A record. Queen Elizabeth, also known as The Virgin Queen, had no mate at the party. Therefore, she received a free drink of her choice compliments of Ethan. The recipient of this card obviously frequented The Four Seasons hotel, as she made several attempts at reciting four-syllable drink names to the bar tender before she settled on FireFly. ::ahem:: “God Save The Queen”)
- Juliet is still waiting for Romeo. Women chose to be found. A statistically significant group of women sat down and waited for “Prince Charming” or “Romeo” to find them. Despite knowing that they’re single task for the night was to go out, meet people, and find their “match” they chose to passively wait. Is it socially acceptable for women to approach men in 2010? Or are these women stuck in a romanticized land where Knights arrive in shining armor on top of horses? Sadly enough, horses were not allowed inside the restaurant.
- One card is never enough. Men maximize opportunities. Despite having been given a card at the beginning of the night, more than one guy asked for additional cards. With two or more cards one may be “paired” with multiple women for the night. Is this fair? Should a guy stick with a woman who he was not “happy with?”
Most attendees actively participated in “The UML Social Experiment.” While the purpose of the event served as a way for the bloggers behind “The Unbreakable Man Laws” blog to meet the readers, it also created a way for the readers to meet each other! Some of these readers had met through the UML Facebook Page and had never met face-to-face until now. Throughout the course of the next few days, many attendees friend requested each other through Facebook. Will any romantic relationships come about through this event or did they already?
And now, for the moment that you have been waiting for…
The Raffle Winners Are <drumroll>:
Ladies (#8 and #3):
8. Robert Wright Penn
3. Ms. Lovett
Gentlemen (#5 and #3) :
3. Frank Sinatra
Selected from this list of people who signed the post making you eligible to win the raffle:
|Han Solo||Daisy Duck|
|Frank Sinatra||Ms. Lovett|
|Robin Wright Penn|
(Editorial Note: For the card-carrying Mensa members amongst us, the people who completed the final task of completing the F-Score and posting their results in the comments section of the UML post here, were entered on an Excel Spreadsheet. Five men and Eight women posted their F-Score Personality Results. Of the group who participated, two men and two women were selected at random through the following Random Number Generator, http://www.random.org/integers/ . Numbers were randomly selected starting at Row 2, Han Solo and Daisy Duck, through the Maximum Number of Rows with Values. )
In different variations of this experiment, participants are handpicked before the actual event based on knowing their personality. Their cards are selected for them based on their personalities. This variation is more of a “matchmaking” type event. By leaving participation voluntary, only those who chose to participate engaged in the experiment.
We are always looking for Social Experiment ideas. If you know how to throw themed parties, social events and know of other creative social ice breakers, or simply want to get involved for next years Social Experiment, shoot a message to: email@example.com .
Credit to The University of Rochester for providing the Report Format: http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/PhyInq/Lectures/Write_Report.html