Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

stop-hammertime

“Be slow of tongue and quick of eye”
Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

I often worry about the pace at which I blog and tweet. Internet culture has always been about speed, and while I am encouraged by my gadgety peers to keep up with the electronic Joneses, I do feel that I am reaching the point where the exponential growth in computing speed described by Moore’s Law is beginning to clash with the linear capacity of my very human brain. I can still taste, smell, feel and flirt better than a computer (seeing and hearing are tossups), but I know I am fighting a losing battle when it comes to keeping up with the sheer volume of new information created and disseminated each day. And so I slow down. I monotask. I ignore the invites to join the next big social media craze and pay attention instead to honing my voice in those places where I am already present. And apparently I am not alone. The slow media movement is in full effect.

from the Slow Media Manifesto

2. Slow media promote Monotasking. Slow Media cannot be consumed casually, but provoke the full concentration of their users. As with the production of a good meal, which demands the full attention of all senses by the cook and his guests, Slow Media can only be consumed with pleasure in focused alertness.

3. Slow Media aim at perfection. Slow Media do not necessarily represent new developments on the market. More important is the continuous improvement of reliable user interfaces that are robust, accessible and perfectly tailored to the media usage habits of the people.

4. Slow Media make quality palpable. Slow Media measure themselves in production, appearance and content against high standards of quality and stand out from their fast-paced and short-lived counterparts – by some premium interface or by an aesthetically inspiring design.

5. Slow Media advance Prosumers, i.e. people who actively define what and how they want to consume and produce. In Slow Media, the active Prosumer, inspired by his media usage to develop new ideas and take action, replaces the passive consumer. This may be shown by marginals in a book or animated discussion about a record with friends. Slow Media inspire, continuously affect the users’ thoughts and actions and are still perceptible years later.

6. Slow Media are discursive and dialogic. They long for a counterpart with whom they may come in contact. The choice of the target media is secondary. In Slow Media, listening is as important as speaking. Hence ‘Slow’ means to be mindful and approachable and to be able to regard and to question one’s own position from a different angle.

. . .

13. Slow Media focus on quality both in production and in reception of media content: Craftsmanship in cultural studies such as source criticism, classification and evaluation of sources of information are gaining importance with the increasing availability of information.

14. Slow Media ask for confidence and take their time to be credible. Behind Slow Media are real people. And you can feel that.

ADDITIONAL READING:
The Slow Blog Manifesto
The Slow Media Diet
Slow Media Blog
“Backlash Against Digital Chatter” [Omaha World-Herald]
“Time for a Slow-Word Movement” [Forbes]
Slow Media Movement Facebook Group (oh, the irony)

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