This is actually a pretty funny, interesting video. This guy Daniel posted ads on Craigslist promoting his services as a drinking buddy for hire in LA. Craigslist TV shot a video of him doing this with a handful of people who found his ad. The result is pretty fascinating.
While Daniel’s services are compared to therapy a few times in the video, I think the more important point he makes is that “alcohol is a license for people to talk.” There’s certainly a sense that good drink allows people to open up, even to strangers. While alcohol should never be used as a crutch for social interactions, there’s value in people like Daniel’s clients having someone to talk to over a drink. If the movie Crash is to be believed, people in LA in particular need more direct human connections and Daniel is providing them.
Beyond any real or perceived therapeutic value, I’ve had many great nights talking to strangers at cocktail bars, both bartenders and other guests. I’ve found that craft cocktail bars in particular are great places to strike up conversations. In an age of mediocre drinks, fine drinks demand to be talked about. Invariably sharing my interest in cocktails leads to many other questions (“no, I’m not a bartender. Yes, I am a geek.”). The point is, drinks can be a great opening to social interaction that is otherwise hard to have. And craft drinks in particular afford the opportunity for people to connect with each other.
Lastly, what a great idea for a Craigslist ad!