After the Chiefs defeated the Carolina Panthers in a game that many weren't sure should even have been played, Quinn shared his thoughts, questions and concerns about the tragedy with reporters in a press conference.
"I know when it happened, I was sitting in my head thinking what I could have done differently," the Chiefs quarterback said. "When you ask someone how they are doing, do you really mean it? When you answer someone back how you are doing, are you really telling the truth?"
Quinn went on to question whether we're losing the ability to empathize and maintain in-person relationships as a consequence of our hyperconnected world.
"We live in a society of social networks, with Twitter pages and Facebook, and that’s fine, but we have contact with our work associates, our family, our friends, and it seems like half the time we are more preoccupied with our phone and other things going on instead of the actual relationships that we have right in front of us," Quinn said. "Hopefully, people can learn from this and try to actually help if someone is battling something deeper on the inside than what they are revealing on a day-to-day basis."
Quinn's message is one that has been widely discussed in recent years. In a TED talk from February 2012, psychologist and sociologist Sherry Turkle addressed the phenomenon of "being alone together," stating that the technology that enables us to craft and share our identities is also undermining our ability to really know one another and ourselves.
"From social networks to sociable robots, we're designing technologies that will give us the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship," she said. "[W]hat I'm seeing is that people get so used to being short-changed out of real conversation, so used to getting by with less, that they've become almost willing to dispense with people altogether."
After hearing Quinn's comments, Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride wrote that the 28-year-old quarterback had become a "spokesman" for the team "who seemed to say the right things in an impossible situation." Quinn's commentary also struck a chord with Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.
"Quinn’s post-game remarks were eloquent and heartfelt and they captured perfectly one of the things we risk losing as a society that communicates primarily in snippets of misspelled words and emoticons," Florio wrote on Sunday.