As something of an amateur psych experiment and a fun prank when I was in grad school, I used to honk and wave at strangers as I drove around. Campuses were great because of all the foot traffic. Gas stations were convenient too because customers are typically standing outside their car at the pumps. A quick honk, a very enthusiastic wave, and I never stuck around long enough for them to realize I was putting them on.
More of than not, mere social pressure was sufficient to make complete strangers wave back even though they didn't recognize me immediately (or ever, obviously). After all, what if they didn't wave? The hypothetical friend who honked would call them on it next time they encountered one another. "Why'd you diss me, man?"
More than mere amusement for myself, I looked at it as a social service. Creating an illusion of fewer than the proverbial six degrees of separation has this effect of making individuals feel more interconnected in their society, one that said, "Your friends are always around you. Be nice." And it's just funny to see their reactions.
kid is my hero.
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