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Social Media Column: Social experiment #5k365 a success

September 24, 2013
Edmonton Sun Linda Hoang
Edmonton Sun Linda Hoang
Edmonton Sun Linda Hoang

Published in the September 24, 2013 issue of The Edmonton Sun.

Linda’s social media column can be found every Tuesday in the Edmonton Sun.

Social experiment #5k365 a success

Brittney Le Blanc met 5,033 people in 365 days. Photo Supplied.

Brittney Le Blanc met 5,033 people in 365 days. Photo Supplied.

Social media butterfly Brittney Le Blanc (@britl) embarked on a crazy journey one year ago: Try to meet 5,000 people in 365 days.

5k365 was a daunting, ambitious social experiment — initially started as a way to find Le Blanc a boyfriend, later shifting focus to the importance of getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing new things.

‘AMAZING PEOPLE’

“It was so much fun. I met so many amazing people,” Le Blanc says.

“I got to try new things, crazy new experiences. I did things I never would have considered or known about doing before this.”

If you average it out, Le Blanc had to meet about 13 people a day to reach her 5,000 people goal.

But that’s not exactly how it played out.

“It was a roller coaster,” she says.

“Throughout the year, the theme was, ‘yeah I could totally do this,’ then I would go through a slump where I would be like ‘oh gosh, I’m not going to meet my goal.’ Then I would go through a phase where I was grumpy and didn’t want to meet anyone and talk to anyone. Then I would come back and say ‘I can totally do this.’ ”

Needless to say it was a huge weight off Le Blanc’s shoulders when she met that 5,000th person — and didn’t stop there.

Le Blanc ended up meeting 5,033 people before her deadline last week.

“It was a huge success.”

A huge success thanks in large part to Le Blanc’s social network.

Throughout the year, she took a number of online connections offline and was invited to event after event after event from numerous ‘tweeps.’

In the last few weeks, she put out a call for help on social media to get that final surge in numbers.

Now that it’s over, Le Blanc will take time to reflect on her meetings, blog about her experiences and spend a bit of quality time at home.

“I’ve finally signed up for Netflix. I’ll be playing video games again.”

LEAVE YOUR COMFORT ZONE

And when asked if she would do it again, Le Blanc says yes — but not anytime soon and if she did it, she would be more organized. She encourages others to get out of their comfort zones and try similar social experiments, though maybe don’t set your goal so high.

“Pace yourself and make it a little more enjoyable for you and your friends,” Le Blanc says.

“Stay healthy. I learned the importance of self-care.”

I have so much respect for what Le Blanc did this past year.

It’s a truly unique social experiment reinforced by regular and social networking and something that could have easily failed but didn’t.

It also makes for a great movie plot. I’d watch it.

Click here to read the column on the Edmonton Sun website!

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