26 May 2009

The lamp posts on Brick Lane

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lamp posts
Carl Honoré, author of In Praise of Slow and Under Pressure and a self-proclaimed proponent of the Slow Movement, is the writer of the latest contribution to Vodafone’s Receiver magazine. In his piece, Honoré argues that in a world of limitless information and constant access to other people, we often don’t know when to stop our urge to connect and communicate:

“You cannot be truly ‘in the moment’ when you’re juggling several moments at once. You cannot make the most of now when you turn ‘now’ into a frenzy of multitasking.

Being ‘always on’ transforms communication technology into a weapon of mass distraction. […]

Constant connection makes us chronically impatient. We come to expect everything to happen at the touch of a button – and get angry when it doesn’t. As the actress Carrie Fisher once quipped, these days “even instant gratification takes too long.”

Being ‘always on’ also makes it hard to stop and stare; to smell the proverbial roses. We miss the details, the fine grain of the world around us when our eyes are glued to a screen. We lose the joy of discovering things on our own, or by chance, when we stick to routes prescribed by a GPS download. When travel involves firing off a stream of texts, tweets and audio-video footage to friends and family back home, we never completely immerse ourselves in a new place.”

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