Delete Tinder and uninstall Bumble: you can now have meandering text conversations with London’s lamp posts, post boxes, bollards, bus stops, phone boxes, trains, boats, utility boxes, bridges, telegraph poles, art exhibits and even manhole covers.
The Olympic Park is about to borrow a project from Bristol that could render dating-app small-talk a thing of the past.
Hello Lamp Post is a project that enables Londoners to text street furniture and have a conversation about something other than what you did last weekend.
When you’re in the park, simply text 0203 389 8860, the name of the object and the code to break the ice. For example, if a post box has the code 'BS1024' written on it, you can start talking to it by texting: 'Hello Post Box #BS1024'. See: you don’t even need a witty opening gambit.
Objects will ask you questions about where you’ve found it, what the area’s like, your memories of the area and nice things to do locally. Every time you share new information with an object, it will share something another person has revealed in a previous convo.
Too shy to join in? You can also check the website for the next six weeks to spy on what kinds of conversations your fellow citizens are having as part of the project. (Kind of like the NSA, but a bit more awkward.)
Granted, it sounds a bit weird. But staring at those infernal blue ticks can sometimes make you feel like you’re WhatsApping a brick wall. Maybe it’s not so crazy to imagine texting a bollard after all.