Inside the #SXSWTechCab, where I traded my digital sins for a free ride

confession cab “SXSW is easy to get around!” said no one ever. The streets are jam packed, the music clashes, and everywhere you turn is yet another line that will make you want to tear your hair out. 

With this in mind, I knew I had to hop on a free ride any chance I could. Kendo UI is hosting a TechCab – a play on HBO’s “Taxicab Confessions.” Instead of the 10 uncomfortable minutes you sit in a quiet cab, host Irina Slutsky will ask you to confess a technological sin for a free ride. It was raining on our first day in Austin, and our team really needed to get away from the downtown madness, so we gave Irina a tweet and a few minutes later, there she was there in an orange car.

When you first hop in the cab, you are greeted to signs alerting that you are being recorded. Get out now while you can if you’re camera shy! Her fifth year running the SXSW TechCab, Irina’s heard it all from her passengers: Drunk confessions, guilty admissions … a guy who had just gotten on the cab before us had just admitted to hacking a website, she says. 

“For many people, the TechCab is a nice place to sit down and have a chat,” she says. Especially from the noise, entering the cab felt like a peaceful getaway from the outside world. There, you felt like you had to release some pressure and unload a confession onto Irina. Well, you had to, technically. What do you think paid for the cab?

“I used to go into my parents’ cameras and delete photos of me and my sisters,” Social Media editor Molly McHugh says. Gulp. “No one needs to see pictures of me dressed as Annie!”

Nonjudgmental, Irina nods and says it’s a fine confession. She feels bad for Molly’s parents and their memory keepsake, but no penance here. “What about you, Natt?”

This is being recorded. This is probably going to be published. People who knew me will hate me for this, but here goes.

“When I want to flake out of meeting up with people, I lie and say I have other plans and fake Foursquare check into places to make it seem like I was elsewhere,” I confess. I’m sorry guys, sometimes a girl just needs a night in with herself! Even Molly seemed like she was judging me, but Irina seemed excited. “Oh, that’s a good one!” she says as I wonder if she’ll share this story anonymously with her next passengers.

At last we arrive at our destination and Irina lets us off easy. After all, she’ll be running all day and night until Sunday night (March 10), so she’ll have plenty more riders who are sure to have made worst ways with technology.

As for me, the confession felt good. But friends who’ve made it to this last line of the article will definitely delete me off Foursquare.


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