Slowing Down in a World Built for Speed

~Tess A., Ashley C., Kellie C., Lea H., Leanne H., Mollye L., Tess S., Melanie V., & Julia Y.

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Carl Honore: The speaker is Carl Honore, a journalist best known for his promotion of the Slow Movement, a worldwide movement that is focused on finding ways to slow down the pace of everyday life. His bestselling book In Praise of Slowness details our current society's obsession with speed, as well as focuses on how people around the world have been combating said obsession and slowing down in numerous aspects of their lives. He then wrote another book entitled Under Pressure , which focuses on how children today are brought up to be over-programmed, overachieving, and exhausted.

What is the Slow Movement?

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The Slow Movement is exactly what it sounds like. It is a movement to promote a lifestyle that is not dominated by the hustle and bustle of "modern" life, and to promote an appreciation for the finer, slower details that people miss when they go too fast. This movement encompasses numerous aspects of our daily lifestyles. Such aspects include avoiding lifestyle. In the "ideal" world of rush hour traffic and
fast food, living in cities that support a slower lifestyle, traveling to relax and slow down, and learning in an environment that does not rush the student. Students take accelerated pace classes, and then proceed onto several extracurricular activities to lead a successful life or get into a "good" college, and adults work full time or have more than one job, while they also care for their families and/or homes. Even transportation and communication have fast-forwarded, from letters that took months to travel via boat and horse-carriages to emails and Instant Messages and airplanes that travel hundreds of miles per hour.

In today's world, slowing down from four hours of homework, extracurriculars, and family commitments may seem as difficult as swimming against the current of a waterfall, but even small changes can ease one life's pace. Order "for here" instead of "to go" to savor the food rather than just consume it. Take time to catch up with a friend on more than just last class's homework. Even managing time better to get more sleep can help.

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Ted Video Clip:
Slowing Down in a World Built for Speed

4:35 to 6:20 - How did we become so fast? Is is possible for us to slow down?

How did we get to be so fast? Why is there such a need for speed?
-Western philosophy of time being linear
-Technology has increased the speed at which we can accomplish tasks and decreased the effort.
-There is constant demand for more, better, & faster products. Soon after a product is released, developers strive to create the "new-and-improved" version.
-Speed is efficiency, efficiency is success
-Speed is necessary to keep up with social interactions
-We have a cultural taboo against being slow
-Speed allows us to avoid important questions

Why is it so hard to slow down? What problems arise from choosing a path of slowness?
-"Time is money", on both a personal and international level
-Slowing down stunts growth in various areas (in industry, technology, sciences, etc.)
-This generation has been encouraged to speed up and will find it difficult to change

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How can we get in touch with our inner tortoise and how does it affect our lives?
-Restructuring our thinking and savoring each moment
-Nurture the idea of going slowly and enjoying time rather than doing as much as you can in as little time as possible


How can we learn to foster the slowness in children?
-Looking at how children and younger people function; they do so at a much slower pace
-Teens have the right idea with wanting to chill and have down time over weekends instead of working, but that is often prevented by huge work loads.

What are the disadvantages of a slow world?
-As beneficial as it is to be relaxed, nothing spectacular can be achieved without hard work
-Without goals and with a philosophy of everything slow, projects can go unfinished for infinitely long (procrastination)
-Fast can be good if whoever is speeding is justified, such as if they have inspiration and drive
-However, without inspiration and drive, speeding just becomes imposing and problematic
-It can be good to slow down, but in today's world speed seems so enviable now; slowness seems negative

How will slowing down affect the future?
-Encourage generations of healthy, motivated individuals
-Promotes social, mental, and emotional health
-Decreases stress and competitiveness
-Allows for more effective interaction, communication, and relationships

"The only thing for certain is that everything changes. The rate of change increases. If you want to hang on you better speed up. That is the message of today. It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated! It is the need to belong. The need for nearness and care, and for a little love! This is given only through slowness in human relations. In order to master changes, we have to recover slowness, reflection and togetherness. There we will find real renewal." ~Guttorm Fløistad