A college student who specializes in prankster videos has uploaded a new video titled "Holding Hands with Strangers." Andrew Hales, 22, walks up to a stranger at the Utah Valley University campus, holds the stranger's hand and films the reaction.
The video was uploaded to Hales's YouTube channel "Losing All Hope Was Freedom" (LAHWF) on Monday and has gone viral with over 2 million views. The name of his YouTube channel is derived from a 1999 film "Fight Club," IB Times reports.
Hales selects a stranger randomly. He walks alongside the stranger, slowly closes the gap until he is holding hands with the stranger. The victims of Hales's prank respond in different ways. Some show confusion, others feel uncomfortable while some react angrily. A few, however, don't seem to mind. A girl looked up at him and said, coyley, "Hey," but continued holding his hand.
Daily Mail reports this is not the first time Hales has posted a prank video. Other videos he has posted include "Holding The Door Open For People That Are Far Away," "Almost Picking Up Older Women," and "Staring At People." The videos show him playing tricks on strangers by flouting social rules we take for granted. According to Daily Mail, the videos are similar to the format of Britain's hidden-camera reality show, Trigger Happy TV..
Hales has posted 12 videos to his YouTube channel. All are shot and edited by a professional video editor. He releases a new video once every Monday.
Hales told ABC News: "There's always a few people that are uncomfortable with it and we always ask them afterwards if they want to be in the video. We just come up with [the videos], like what would be funny to do and interesting to film and just what would be awkward in public, you know. It’s been great. I’ve supplemented my income with the [YouTube] ads... I’m making a little bit of money from that and that’s helped to pay the bills. It’s cool."
IB Times reports Hales, who is studying for a bachelors degree in public relations, says income from the videos is helping him pay for his college education.