In an era where people send messages that disappear within 10 seconds, Reboot’s 10Q project bucks the trend by offering an online reflection portal that holds musings in a digital vault and sends them back in a year for retrospection.
The Jewish High Holidays are a traditional period of reflection, but in today’s hectic, fast-paced society, few people take the time to really think about their lives. The 10Q project offers Jews and non-Jews a modern way to reflect more deeply with a question a day delivered through email for 10 days. This serves as a reminder of the importance of pausing to consider the choices, beliefs and experiences in our lives.
The questions from 10Q, which start today, are not religious in nature and are focused on life, goals, plans for the future, relationships, our place in the world and more. More than 30,000 people get the emails every year and thousands more participate through 10Q related events held around the world by partners of Reboot.
10Q is an ambitious online effort to reverse the trend of living only for the moment through snippets sent through apps like Snapchat and from status update to status update. With 10Q, individuals’ answers are sent into a digital vault at the end of the process and a year later the answers are returned and the whole experience begins again. The idea is for participants to make an annual tradition out of answering the questions, building a personal archive for future years.
“Thanks to new technologies people have more opportunities than ever to express themselves, but fewer than ever to express themselves well, and with forethought,” said writer and 10Q co-creator Ben Greenman. “What we’re trying to do is give people a chance to be thoughtful. It can help you see things that are buried. It can clarify your ideas about yourself or shift them enough so that you can see things in a new light. Participants see themselves in the mirror of 10Q – they learn what their concerns were, and how they addressed (or evaded) them.”
The project was founded in 2008 by Reboot, a Jewish cultural organization that seeks to reinvent and re-imagine Jewish rituals and traditions, along with Greenman, playwright Nicola Behrman, and Reboot Associate Director Amelia Klein. In past years, it has attracted luminaries such as the governor of New York, the president of New York University and writer Amy Sohn.
10Q resonates with an ecumenical, multi-generational audience, with participants ranging from teenagers to grandparents. Although the project is rooted in the Jewish idea of ethical wills and reflection, teshuvah and occurs during the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, it has attracted people of all backgrounds and denominations, including Catholics, Episcopalians and Buddhists.