Blog: Life could use a speed limit
Published: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 11:00pm
I often feel frazzled whenever I turn on the evening news and am bombarded by dozens of different stories at once. The broadcasters themselves switch quickly from topic to topic, the ticker at the bottom of the screen is constantly flashing headlines within seconds of each other, and sometimes there's even a bar feeding you a steady stream of updates on what people are "tweeting" about.
Suffice it to say, it can be something of an information overload.
Thus, it doesn't surprise me that we now live in an age when people often don't have the patience to sit down and read a news article from start to finish. After all, why should they? If the media feeds us a new thought every minute, there's no motivation to devote our full attention to any one of them, and our attention spans just grow shorter and shorter.
It's not just news networks, either. Get on Facebook—and let's face it, far too many of us do these days—and a seemingly endless chain of updates is thrown at you. So and so said this, someone else posted that; the news comes on and on, and in rapid succession. In that kind of an environment, there's no need to really concentrate on anything; in fact, it's almost impossible to.
That's why I was so interested in Tara Alan and Tyler Kellen, authors of a blog called Going Slowly and the subjects of an article I wrote a short time ago; I was intrigued by the fact that, in today's world, they still appreciate "going slowly." After talking to them, I was sure that our fast-paced society contributes just as much to our ever-shrinking attention spans as we do.
Yet, I'm still not sure I can bring myself to drop everything I'm doing and just take some time to slow down. With schoolwork, college applications, extracurricular activities, and the handful of creative projects I like to work on for leisure, I can't help but feel like I'm wasting precious time whenever I'm not doing something. There's always something else I could, and probably should, be doing.
It's unfortunate, but somehow our whole society seems to have fallen into this trap together. We move from one thing to the next quickly and constantly, and can hardly find the time or the motivation to just sit down and experience something for all its worth.
We are coming into a brand new year soon, though. Maybe we could all make it a resolution to go slowly.