From Silent Dining To Dating, The Cult Of Quiet Is On The Rise

For once, we are speechless.

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In a world where we are increasingly aware of our mental health and encouraged to find tranquility amongst the day-to-day chaos of our lives, mindfulness is no longer exclusive to the hardcore meditators and monastic yogis.

Meditation has become so much simpler.

With the guidance of apps such as Headspace, you won't find yourself sitting on the floor cross legged chanting 'ommmmm'.

Oh no, instead you simply place yourself in a quiet space for 10 minutes, reflect on your thoughts and feelings and clear your head.

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Feelings. They’re not as bad as we make them out to be.

A video posted by Headspace (mindfulness app) (@headspace) on

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But with this revolution of quietness has come a rise of businesses that are there to meet a new demand for silence.

From weekend getaways to dining and dating, you can now take your introverted self in to the public sphere and somehow interact with other mutes.

The dating service Shhh offers the speed dating experience without the small talk as you gaze in to each other's eyes and partake in non-verbal flirting games.

Though to some this may sound more like a staring competition than dating, Shhh claims that 'it's much easier to have a connection with someone after two minutes of eye gazing.'

Whilst they do say the eyes are the window to the soul, is it really possible to connect with someone instantly through the power of silence, or is staring at a stranger just plain awkward?

James Barton, a 30-year-old copywriter, wrote about his attempt at finding speechless romance and found the whole experience to be confrontational.

'After about ten seconds it got awkward fast. I decided to crack a joke to ease the tension, but this backfired when I realised that the vast majority – possibly all – of my standby witty observations are expressed verbally...I resorted to making a farting noise with my armpit.'

He never saw or heard from his date again...

Is this new rise in the cult of quiet something we should dismiss as mindfulness gone too far?

Or is it about time that we put the iPhone down, take it back to basics and connect with someone on a more human level?

Georgie King, a 29-year-old freelance producer, visited a hippie community in Thailand that did exercises in getting to know someone through silence and found the whole experience to be rewarding.

'At first I found the whole situation incredibly uncomfortable and my giggles showed this, but actually after a time you really begin to feel in some way connected to the other person.

Our intuition is often drowned out by so much noise that when you turn it off, whether it's real or not, you actually feel like you can *feel* what the other person is about.

Have they been heartbroken, are they happy, are they sad behind their smile?

Funny enough, my throat even began to hurt with one lady and I asked her if she had any issues and she said that she was always getting ill with throat infections. It was spooky.'

Perhaps you can find a connection and conversation in silence.

You may not be having the same conversation in your head as the person you are staring at but surely we can agree that taking it back to basics can't do us any harm?

However, this isn't to say that I am now going to cut out my tongue and revert to a life of silence.

I love to talk too much and I never want to revert to making a farting noise with my armpit.

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