I found a great little site/web app this morning that really changed the way my day is going. Over the course of about 90 seconds, this demonstration explains how we’re all leading high-strung, over-stretched social lives on these internet. Portlandia has a great sketch, “Technology Loop,” on exactly this problem.
While our rapid rate of interconnectedness is unlikely to slow anytime in the foreseeable future–save catastrophic, systemic collapse–taking little breaks from it all can really help keep us sane, level-headed, and free. The quiet place is a self-described “relaxation exercise” that runs from right in your browser. If you navigate to their page, you’ll notice that you’re only a space-bar click away from 90 seconds of serenity. The site tells you to full-screen your browser, turn up the volume, and refrain from using your phone (that’s kind of the point). Then, soothing music and gentle words help you to relax and break your digital ties, if only for a moment. In the first part, the exercise explains the frivolity in incessantly patrolling facebook and twitter to stay up-to-date and in-the-know. Toward the end, it asks you to sit and do nothing (iknowrite?) for 30 seconds. Truly, this whole thing is a wonderful lesson in guided relaxation/concentration. A lot of what you see and hear at the quiet place are almost textbook examples of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques for relaxation and de-stressing. So bookmark the quiet place, and return to it when you need a break from work, others, or even yourself.