The Small Things That Matter

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/19/magazine/the-secret-life-of-passwords.html

“The Secret Life About Passwords” sheds life on small things that is ubiquitous on everyone’s life, but no one gives much thought to how much meaning those seemingly insignificant things may hold. Those small details are passwords we use multiple times a day; and they are a much deeper reflection of who we are, although we might not realize it.

The media package was a combination of text, video, and audio — with the video playing immediately when the page opens. This technique allowed to immediately immerse into the concealed world of passwords that live their own lives. The visual effects of the piece are captivating; the style is simple, clear, and subtle. The page plays around with moving silhouettes filled with a pastel pattern contrasting against the white background. The silhouettes are “alive”; they move, tilt, turn to and from the reader — they are portraits of the real people.

The visual effect is amplified with the calm, soothing music that gives a completely new dimension to the piece. It evokes emotions such as serenity; it adds depth and sets an atmosphere where the reader gets a chance to reflect on his/her own story through the prism of the featured stories. The media package is an example of a masterful use of audio, video, and visual effects to create an atmosphere of pensiveness and reflection.

Human voice is another big element that adds power to the message of the piece. The silhouettes of the people aren’t just accompanied by the soothing music; those are real people talking, and their voices add more emotion and depth to the media package because they make the story more relatable, authentic, and real.

The text element is very strong in the piece. Although I thought that the text could have been shorter, to allow for more emphasis on the visual and audio aspect of the story, nevertheless the text was very descriptive — it told stories about different people. With descriptions and narrations about real-life stories drawn from real people’s lives, the text allows room for a narrative story that can resonate with a lot of readers. It tells the life story of each character; it provides details that might be left out in a visual element, and create a story through quotes, word choice, and metaphors.

I found the piece very powerful and thought-provoking; it was a good combination of different visual, audio, and textual elements that created a unique world the reader immediately plunges into. While the text could be slightly shorter and could give more room to the human voice in the piece, I caught myself analyzing my own passwords, trying to understand who I am, indeed.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Marina Chilingarian’s story.