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Why Tom Hanks posts photos of lost things on his Twitter feed

A few years ago, Tom Hanks started to do something odd on his Twitter account: post photos of people’s lost belongings. Often, the image was of something missing its mate — a lost sock, a single glove, a lone shoe.

Some of the accompanying captions are funny…

Others are poignant or sad.

And several comment on the passage of time.

Recently, NewsHour correspondent Jeffrey Brown sat down with Hanks to discuss his new book of short stories, “Uncommon Type,” and also asked about the actor’s habit of chronicling lost items.

“The absolute best use of worldwide social media, you know?” Hanks joked. “Twenty million followers later on they’re still hanging on whatever new kid’s mitten is going to be found somewhere.”

When asked if he had ever reunited anyone with their lost belongings, Hanks said he had, but that’s not why he posted about forgotten items.

“It’s really kind of like a visual haiku of separation, loss, maybe freedom, maybe loneliness in the big city” he said. “A lost glove looking for its mate, isn’t that just the way of the world? Aren’t we all just lost gloves, looking for our — if we’re a left hand aren’t we looking for our right hand?”

Watch the full conversation with Hanks about his lost things above, and see more of his visual haikus on his Twitter feed. And watch Brown’s full conversation with Hanks about his new book here.