Have you ever noticed how many things require your attention? Amitay Tweeto has. In the summer of 2011, he founded The Quiet Place, an interactive minimalistic essay about the effects of social media on the mind and our sense of quiet. “in the quiet place, there are no caps. letters that are big and yell at you, also, there are no Facebook notifications… or Twitter, Google+, Foursquare, e-mail, messenger, etc. Wow, have you ever noticed how many things require your attention?”
"The Quiet Place" was thoughtful and witty. It was funny, and relaxing, and surprisingly enlightening. It made me think, really think for the first time about all the technology that our generation and the generations after us are so hopelessly lost in.
What happened to the time where children went outside and played to pass the time? When all they had was the sticks and stones on the floor, their bicycle, and their imagination? What happened to the time when "Calvin and Hobbes" depicted a real living and breathing boy’s childhood experiences?
Children (and adults) today are so caught up in “meaningless little things” that mean absolutely nothing in the long run. Absolutely nothing. Who cares if so-and-so commented on so-and-so’s photo on Facebook? Is it going to change your life? Your day? The answer is no, so why are we worrying about it?
If people in today’s society are so high strung that we can’t take a measly 30 seconds out of our day-to-day lives to just relax and enjoy the simplicity that is being, then there’s really something questionable about what we’ve become and what we’ve really accomplished as people.
Sure, as we’ve progressed as a society we’ve definitely been gaining things, innovation and success and new inventions. But children are also growing up so much earlier, being burdened with adult responsibilities so much earlier -- losing their imaginations, their innate childlike minds, their quiet places. Despite all of our accomplishments as a society, this is still sad.
As individuals, I think that we needs to take some time out of our busy lives and reflect on who we are, and what we’re doing. Is it the same as what we want to do? What we love to do? If it’s not, then that’s something that we need to think about. We need to find our quiet places again.
If the quiet place isn’t helping you do that, then Tweeto has a couple of alternative projects, all labeled under the title “The Quiet Place Project” (located here) where you can take time to go over the truly important things in your life.
Ultimately, the quiet place provided an opportunity for me to separate myself from the things going on in my life, if only just for a moment. I hope that it can do the same for you; and just maybe, it will inspire you to make positive changes in your life as well.