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In today’s hyper-connected world, our hectic schedules mean it’s too easy to spend time lost in phone screens rather than having meaningful conversations with friends. There’s an increase in FaceTime instead of actual face-to-face time.
The truth is in the statistics: almost six in ten people have lost touch with best friends, and over a third confessed they struggle to make time for each other. ‘Despite people having hundreds of friends on social, our data showed that people only considered themselves to have an average of four close friends,’ says TV’s matching expert and psychologist Mark Coulson.
But research has also revealed that one of the best places to make friends is on a road trip. That’s why MINI – whose cars have been a familiar presence on Britain’s roads for almost 60 years – has launched a new match-making scheme to pair you with likeminded people and then provide you with a road trip experience to help get to know them better.
Tying in with the launch of their brand-new MINI 5-door Hatch, Hatch Maker has been created in partnership with Mark. He was a guest expert on Channel 4’s ‘Married at First Sight’, so he knows a thing or two about putting the right people together.
Using a series of meticulously curated questions, Hatch Maker will pair you with someone who has the potential to become a good friend. ‘Deciding if someone will be a friend for life or not is not just a decision we consciously make,’ Mark explains of the criteria. ‘The synchronisation of body language, patterns of eye contact and even how they smell are just as important as the words that come out of their mouths,’ Once matched, those lucky pairs will get to embark on a MINI Hatch road trip consisting of tailor-made experiences based on shared passions, whether that’s indulging your love for nature with a money-can’t-buy bee-keeping masterclass, bonding over your fear of sharks in a wild water swim, or discovering you’re both rather fond of pickled eggs on a foodie tour. Mark explains how social distractions in the car encourage conversation, as the context of the drive, traffic, scenery and music are shared with one another.
To get involved, all you need to do is click here to answer Mark’s questionnaire. Then, if you've successfully been matched, you’ll hear from him and the MINI team by July 19. Want to find that perfect pal? Click below.
To enter MINI Hatch Maker service, head to www.MINI.co.uk/HatchMaker. Applicants must be free on July 28 or 29 for the experiences.