Slowing Down to Speed Up

Our technology-laden lives can generate accelerating schedules, keeping us in dizzying whirlwinds of activity that may lead nowhere.

Slowing Down to Speed Up

OK, so here we go.

I’m starting with speed on this idea, putting down some foundational logs, roughly around the site of the camp fire, before shooting off to do some tasks. But first to put something down in black and white, or I fear I never will.

Today I’ve been self-propelled at one thousand miles an hour. Run off my feet every waking moment, right up until this one. My aim was to slow down and do as little as humanly possible. I sketched out a todo list that I deliberately made sparse, or at least it seemed sparse when I wrote it, then proceeded to race through every second of the day, beating myself up because I wasn’t making my way through the list I made to be quick, quickly enough.

I am convinced this is an endemic problem of the times, and it is deeply rooted in the proliferation of technology. Oddly enough, technology seems to have had the opposite effect to what we thought it might at the outset. Instead of reducing our work load and simplifying the things we need to do, it seems to be creating self-perpetuating, ever-accelerating barrages of action and notifications of activity, obliging us to commit to impossibly full schedules, where every potential hobby is pursued, every niche skill and interest explored, every movie that pops up on our radar watched and remembered — and preferably, reviewed online — , every amazing recipe cooked and perfected, every self-help technique investigated, and generally all the things we hear about in this universe of information, done.


James Lanternman writes movie reviews, short fiction, essays, and moonlit thoughts. Reach him at [email protected], or follow on Twitter.