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« From my contrarian, technoskeptical, alienated perspective | Main | My postcard experiment »

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Jennifer

So right! As individuals and as a society we're rushing headlong forwards. I'm a firm believer in progress, but is change always for the better? The relationships and expectations, especially business ones, behind the technological use are much of the problem. People used to strive to be as available, "on" and productive as possible in 40 hours... but now the work has no bounds and comes homes with us. I have the internal desire and discipline to get away from technology but I might be less successful in relative terms because I'd be compared to people who were willing to sacrifice their personal well-being. That's why this is a cultural problem: social Darwinism, even?

Jim

I like your theme about being aware of the consequences. As a psychologist, I spend a lot of time thinking about thinking (it's called metacognition). I actively ask, "What is the benefit?" "What are the implications?" "What are the risks and do they outweigh the benefits?", etc. In days past, things changed so slowly that there was time to re-think, and change directions should something bad happen. Now, we have moved ten steps ahead before we realize that we made an error way back at, say, step 2. As humans we lack the ability to be sure of long term outcomes and it would serve us well if we went no faster than a step or two beyond our realy knowledge so that we could recover. Alas, however, it is extremely difficult to be successful in business, for example, without the trappings of speed.

Jennifer

Digital media fasts are a great idea for keeping balance. They do take some discipline, or maybe some outside help. (This is why I'm looking into software that reminds me to get offline and stay there!). Though they are inherently negative... the term emphasizes what you're giving up instead of what you're getting. Any alternative suggestions?

Sophia

I do a digital media fast every weekend if I can manage it, and during vacations for even longer if possible.

It really allows me to notice my surroundings, and when I return to a clogged Inbox and overflowing FB page, I realize how much of it is junk.

I love postcards and put them up on my wall as soon as I receive them. Can't do that with on-line posts, at least not in the handwriting of the author!

Jennifer

Only if you have an aquatic, swimming pony since you'll be living in Paris by then!

My argument isn't that digital media are totally evil, but that they're being adopted unquestioningly and despite the good they may do for our interpersonal communications, they're also doing some harm. Also, that something important to our culture is being (has been) lost as we abandon(ed) analog communication specifically and as we embrace efficiency, speed and cheapness as guiding principles for human endeavor more generally.

Lisa Gettings

You used Google to find out about the slow media movement. That's kind of funny. When you go on your fast, I may have to send a Pony Express to you with a note carved on wood. That would be hip.

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