I am writing about the Slow Food movement for part of my enterprise story. I interviewed a member of Slow Food Eugene last week and he made an off hand comment about Slow Media. I was curious what “Slow Media” was, so when I got home I googled it.
Slow Media is a recent movement against the fast paced technological lifestyle that many of us are connected to. Most of us, especially us journalists, are connected to a constant deluge of technology. Twitter posts, DMs, Facebook requests, FB messages, blogs, endless emails, cell phones, text messages and cells phones internet on them (so you reallllly can’t escape!). Arg! At least that’s what the Slow Media people said. Disconnecting from all these technology paths is difficult, if not impossible. If you don’t respond to an email quickly it is considered bad ettiquete. If you turn off your phone, you could potentially miss something important. If you don’t post on Twitter a lot then who is going to follow you? All this connectedness fed up some people and they decided to start Slow Media.
According to the rowdy Kittens blog, “Slowies write letters, talk to each other (offline) and aren’t fans of multitasking.” I also found an interesting radio piece about Slow Media done by Sally Herships on the American Public Media website.
Although I check my Twitter, FB and email way more than I would like to admit, the idea of Slow Media resonates with me. I have become frustrated with the amount of time I spend on the computer. I feel like this little 15 inch screen is sucking away at my life. I would like to be connected, but it feels like if you disconnect for even one day, you are no longer part of the digital world. For example, whenever I check my Twitter NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen (jayrosen_nyu) always has several new and insightful posts on the feed. But, I begin to wonder: How does he Twitter so much?
I feel like the more technologically connected I am, the less personally connected I become. This is what social media is about: focusing less on computer relationships and more on real, in person relationships. Slow Media is about turning off your computer and getting together with real people, not cyber people. It is about not checking your FB and email 24/7 and maybe even writing some snail mail.
I read the listener comments from the American Public Radio piece and found one that I thought was especially good. One reader wrote about Slow Media:
“This reminds me of a quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, “There is more to life than increasing its speed. Instant communication doesn’t always bring us closer.”
I second that.
One reader comment on the rowdy Kittens blog said:
“I would go absolutely nuts here in the woods without the Internet and my media feed.”
Hmm… I’m sure many of us would get some internet cravings if we were out in the woods. But, when we are 70, are we going to look back and remember all those wonderful hours we spent on the internet, or are we going to remember the time we spent in the woods with friends and family (and no cell phone)?
Just disconnect… Photo from myxitup.blogspot.com