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Byron Shire
April 17, 2024

Time for a conversation? Let’s disconnect to reconnect

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Founder of the We’re All Going to Die festival, Stefan Hunt, shares a conversation with a stranger on the Byron Bay train. Photo supplied

Checking social media gives you a similar feeling in the same impulsive part of the brain as gambling and substance abuse. Good times right?

Not so, say Tory Bauer and Stefan Hunt.

A 2017 study by the Royal Society for Public Health found nearly 63 per cent of Instagram users report being miserable. So Tory and Stephan have decided it is time to ‘choo the fat’ in the conversation carriage on the Byron Bay Train on 5, 6 and 7 July.

The experience is about ‘disconnecting to reconnect’.

‘Instead of using the journey to look at your social media feed it’s a phone free area’ explains Stefan Hunt.

‘You simply have a conversation with a stranger instead. We provide some questions printed on a postcard and you get chatting about life with your new friend’.

Afterwards there is an opportunity to write your new friend a message on the provided postcard. In the coming months this will be posted to them to remind them of the experience.

‘We want to introduce conversation carriages on public transport worldwide. Where humans rediscover the art of eye contact and chance conversations and encounters with strangers. Or simply getting to know yourself again,’ he said.

Conversation Carriage will be held on every train service during the festival, in the right hand carriage with blue seating. There is no fee other than the $3 fare.

‘The journey that you have on the Byron Bay Train, having a conversation with a stranger could change the course of your life… All aboard.’

Conversation Carriage is part of the We’re All Going to Die Festival. For more about the festival visit www.wereallgoingto.com

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  1. Checking social media may press a few buttons when time is appressing in rushing around in modern life in the red with the twits of Twitter and looking into the faces of Facebook it sure is a world away from real writing from Red Square and Russian Playwright Anton Chekhov.
    Anton is such a brain as I turn the page and the great feeling of the USSR and the Communist uniform inflames the same part of the brain when invading another country with tanks and the missile. Good times right? Oops, I spilled some sauce down my shirtfront that Tony Abbott could see.

  2. When I’ve tried that stunt, it’s me who gets turned off as the other party keeps referring to their bloody phone. Very anti-social devices when used in that way.

  3. Let us turn the seats around so that people can face each other in the train and then enjoy an easy conversation without embarrassment.!

  4. Feel like you’ve lost contact with your family and friends? That’s because you have! Social media platforms are harvesting you, your family and your friends… Become a responsible human being, family member and friend… switch off now and discover you actually have a life… and it’s not that bad 😉


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