Embracing Slow Media
“Practice: Embrace Slow Media” is one of Digital Minimalism chapters, written by Cal Newport.
As written in the book, the concept of slow media was founded by German scientists back in 2010. They put up the result on a report called “Das Slow Media Manifest” or “The Slow Media Manifest”.
The overall idea of slow media adopts the slow food movement. In a slow food movement, people are encouraged to take things slow with food. It’s started with buying raw foods from the farmer in the market, bring it home, clean it up in the kitchen, cook them up, put it in the plate, then finally serve them on the table. Imagine farm-to-table-cooking situation, or the opposite of fast food. Yes, that’s a slow food.
Why do people move from fast food to slow food? Why bother ourselves to do things slow when we could do it fast?
The simple answer is because fast food is not good for our health. So, in order to live a better life, people who live this lifestyle wish to get a higher quality of meals, in term of protein, vitamin, and maybe a satisfaction when you finally nailed the recipes, which will also yield a better health in the long run. It takes more works, but people believe it worths the future benefits. So, nope, it doesn’t bother them at all doing all the works.
Let’s go back to the slow media. Where did the idea come from?
Technology keeps improving. Media (business) keeps growing. The marriage of technology and media opens up a wide access for people to information. People nowadays get an information from everywhere; Instagram, news websites, TikTok, Youtube, Facebook, television, newspaper (anyone?). It takes us 0.5 second to see what is happening on the other side of the planet, realtime. Nothing can go any faster than what fast media offers.
As a result of this behaviour, people today is easily informed. After receiving an information, our brain starts to react. We feel good when we see a good post that pops up in our screen. In the following second, we feel terrible when seeing a bad news that pops up. Then, we feel happy again, then feeling confused, and happy again. Everything keeps rolling in just 10 minutes of checking the phone. Fast media.
Because of this situation, people have a new situation to deal with. Panick attack, stress, depression, and all this anxiety condition, become a part of people’s life. I know media is not the only factor. But, let’s admit that it does take a big part in our life. It’s like signing up for a promotional email you never remember you signed up for, but you keep getting the email because you did sign up years ago. I never planned myself to feel anything destructive when I first used Facebook 14 years ago. Who knows my habis for doing that for years, gave me no choice but feeling insecure and anxious most of the time.
Fortunately, good people somewhere found a way to save people from this misery.
Welcome to a slow media.
Similar to slow food, slow media suggests people to take things slow with media. There are actually many simple ways for starting this new habit.
- Check your social media less than before. Decrease 15 minutes of usage per day. See how far you can go. This practice helps you sorting down the information you absorb everyday.
- See the article or a post you find interesting? Save or bookmark it for later reading. Read them when you’re home, while sitting in the room, with a table or tea ready for you to sip while reading them. Do it when you’re in a relax mode.
- Start the habit. It’s always hard to start, but the door needs a knock.
Anyway, I made up all those tips, but I started doing them few months ago. Some said you could replace your online activity to an offline activity. I said for 1 online behaviour you try to kill, replace it with 1 offline thing to do. In my case, to kill the habit of checking the Instagram, I start journaling (again). To kill the Facebook checking, I start writing in the blog. So far, those 3 tips and swapping online to offline thing, work pretty good on my end. Of course, you could find more complete and practical references in the internet on how to start going slower with media (don’t forget to save it for later reading when you find one!).
To close this rambling, I’d like you to start considering this idea. Trust me, embracing this habit won’t make you left out from the world at all. There will still many other sources around to receive an information you need.
Also, life is better when you take things slow with the media.
PS: Click here if you’d like to check my audio rambling for this topic.