Humans of the world

In+his+popular+blog+Humans+of+New+York%2C+Mr.+Brandon+Stanton+uses+both+photography+and+words+to+authentically+capture+the+lives+of+thousands+of+New+Yorkers.%0AAnna+Phillips+%2715

In his popular blog Humans of New York, Mr. Brandon Stanton uses both photography and words to authentically capture the lives of thousands of New Yorkers. Anna Phillips '15

In his popular blog Humans of New York, Mr. Brandon Stanton uses both photography and words to authentically capture the lives of thousands of New Yorkers. Anna Phillips '15
In his popular blog Humans of New York, Mr. Brandon Stanton uses both photography and words to authentically capture the lives of thousands of New Yorkers.
Anna Phillips ’15

Each day, we walk by hundreds of people, rarely giving a second thought to the strangers surrounding us. Little kids, couples, groups of teenagers – we notice them only superficially, and rarely do we ever take time to really get to know them. However, since 2010, 30-year-old photographer Mr. Brandon Stanton has challenged us to notice and appreciate those around us through his popular photo blog Humans of New Yorkwhich uses Facebook, Instagram, and his own website to share the stories of thousands of New Yorkers.
Humans of New York, which inspired the King Street Chronicle’s very own Human’s of Sacred Heart segment, strives to “provide a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers on the streets of New York City,” according to the blog’s description. Mr. Stanton photographs everyday people he sees in the streets and briefly interviews them, sharing their stories as the caption of his photos. He photographs people from every possible background, and the captions range from short, humorous lines to long, sad, personal stories.
His Facebook page has gained nearly 12 million followers, and each picture he posts receives thousands of likes and comments. He doesn’t do this for the fame, but rather to simply share the stories he finds.
I am a huge fan of Mr. Stanton’s blog, and I, as well as 12 million others, love to read the fascinating stories of complete strangers. What I don’t understand is how we can be so intrigued by these strangers shared on Facebook, yet make no effort to get to know the people in our own lives.
I know I’m guilty of this, and I’m sure many others are as well. Not once have I made an effort to really talk to the person sitting next to me on a plane or train, or the person next to me in line at Starbucks.
Sure, sometimes we’re running late, or we’re on the phone, or we’re busy, or we’re trying to decide what kind of latte to order, but most of the time, we simply choose not to make an effort. We choose not to talk that person sitting next to us in the airport simply because we don’t want to go through the effort.
I find that so sad.
For some reason, we’re so engrossed in our own lives that it has become the norm to simply not get to know others, unless we are constantly around them at school or work or think we will personally gain something from acquainting ourselves with them.
Mr. Stanton strives to show us the power of human relationships. One of his recent achievements was starting a fundraiser for Mott Hall Bridges Academy, a school located in a neighborhood in Brooklyn with one of the highest crime rates in all of New York. Mr. Stanton was able to raise $1,418,484 for the school in only 20 days, all from fans who read about the school on Humans of New York.
And it all started with him asking a boy he passed on the street, “Who’s influenced you the most in your life?” and he was able to raise over 1 million dollars for a school in need.
It’s amazing what we can learn from simply talking to the people around us, and absurd how much we miss by simply not trying.
Humans of New York and Humans of Sacred Heart are great ways to learn more about the people who surround us on the streets of NYC and pass us in our school hallways. But, it’s time to make an effort to learn more about the people around us. Not because we have to and not because we’ll become famous like Mr. Stanton, but simply because we can.
-Anna Phillips, Content Editor