Slowness, Silence, Plants, and why I took Facebook off of my Iphone

In this hyper-modern age of real-time always-on location-based info-overload, perhaps a moment of true peace and quiet is the greatest gift one can receive.

This coming from a link found over at a tech blog. I think this is a recurring theme that I keep coming across: that everything is too fast and we are too distracted. I don’t think we need to go into panic mode as Nick Carr indicates, that we are permanently messing ourselves up by being plugged in and always on. The above author, doesn’t disavow his tech industry background and doesn’t sound terrible alarms. But he does have a subtle appreciation for thinks that take time and force you to do things properly, recognizing that not everything will go as expected.

It’s that thing about breathing, and allowing some silence. As a little article over at interactions magazine pointed out:

When we stroll in urban environments, much of our attention remains directed toward stimuli such as avoiding traffic and advertising—yet it’s less restorative. Nature, filled with interesting stimuli (e.g., sunsets), allows for directed-attention mechanisms that encourage us to replenish.

Okay, sorry about the links. Come back! I’ve only got one more to share before I stop my slow bombardment. I was getting anxious about not having posted here for a little, but it seems like all of this really hit me today, and coalesced my feelings over the last couple of months, beginning with my deletion of the Facebook app from my Iphone. I was totally overwhelmed and couldn’t focus. I couldn’t sit still and read a book. It really took effort and finally it’s coming back to me, even if it took Nick Carr to partially scare the bejesus out of me.

That being said, I believe there’s something to all of this, and I can’t claim much credit, but it reeks of old-schoolness. That fast is not always good, that real value comes from taking the time to understand something and your relation to it (this is central to critical information literacy and librarianship), that you have to listen (reference interviews, anyone?). So when I came across this link from the same post as my lead-line, my now new humanities-drenched, recently Kerouac-steeped soul nearly exploded in half-time:

Slow Media are not about fast consumption but about choosing the ingredients mindfully and preparing them in a concentrated manner. Slow Media are welcoming and hospitable. They like to share.

Yes. Please.


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