Home, All Posts, RSS feed

24 Hour No Talk

2016 January 12. Tuesday.

As a small project, I tried not speaking for twenty-four hours. It took place in Italy from 2:37 PM Italy time on January 10 2016 to 2:37 PM Italy time the next day. Frankly, the experience was a little disappointing but maybe writing about it will give me some insights I missed.

Automatic Bursts

Whenever I run into an object I automatically say oops. If someone sneezes I say blessyou, if I run into someone I say sorry or excuseme, and if someone gives me food or table salt I say thankyou. It was weird supressing all these.

It feels really wrong to not say bless you, even though it has a pretty small effect on the person/world. Thank you was easier because a smile or mouthing thankyou does almost the same thing. Running into people was hard to deal with, I tried to avoid it.

Conversational Comments

Sarah might be talking about the difference between what happens to some water in the atmosphere that makes it a snowflake or a piece of hail, and I think I have some super insightful comment. Unless it is expressable through gestures, I can’t say it.

Some of my thoughts weren’t insightful after more reflection. D:

However, most of my bad conversation isn’t stuff I thought was insightful, it was words that came out automatically from years of smalltalk training. Automatic answers are bad, but when I think too much the other person gets frustrated with how long I take. Conversation is hard!


I had a few small slips, otherwise good:


My girlfriend Luci was very supportive (after the first twenty minutes) and stopped me whenever I almost talked. Seriously she was awesome.


Try a 24-hour no talk. I scheduled mine to a really inconvenient day to get more out of it. You can make it easy by picking an alone day.

Public Domain Dedication.