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‘I Saw You On The Train': Falling in Love on Portugal's Public Transport

Categories: Western Europe, Portugal, Citizen Media, Digital Activism, Good News, Ideas

A Facebook page called Vi-te No Comboio [1] [pt] (I Saw You On The Train) aims to gather and share the stories of anonymous people who meet on the train and take an interest in the passenger next to them.

Image taken from the Facebook page "I Saw You On The Train" [1]

Image taken from the Facebook page ‘I Saw You On The Train’. Created at the end of January 2014, the page already has more than 67,000 ‘likes’ and dozens of posts.

The stories are sent to the social network's administrators who then post them on the Facebook page and on the website vite.pt [2] [pt]. The posts are organised with ‘hashtags’ which specify the train line where the characters met, facilitating their selection, such as for example the story of the meeting and separation of a man from the Alentejo region and the passenger Amélia [3] [pt] on the #‎linhaEvora‬ [4] [pt] (Evora line), in one of the most moving texts on the page. In an interview with P3 [5] [pt], the page's creators and administrators, Daniel, Tiago and Pedro (for reasons of privacy, they prefer not to divulge their surnames), admit that they were inspired by the website I Saw You [6], a platform which was created in 1997 by three friends from the USA who had themselves been inspired by the section of the Seattle Weekly [7] newspaper dedicated to the issue of ‘missed connections’. ‘I Saw You On The Train’ was recently extended to the metro, posting stories of those who met on the Porto or Lisbon metro. Numerous other pages with a similar aim to ‘I Saw You On The Train’ already exist, for example ‘Vi-te No Autocarro [8]’ [pt] (‘I Saw You On The Bus’) and even ‘Vi-te Num Concerto de Metal [9]’ [pt] (‘I Saw You At A Metal Concert’).

This short article was written by António Pedro, Bárbara Rodrigues, Catarina Rocha and Hugo Ramos, students on the Cyberjournalism module which forms part of the Science of Communication & Culture [10] course at the Lusophone University of Porto.