How many of us are familiar with the Slow Food Movement? That's slow food, as contrasted with fast food--Burger King, MacDonald's,the Colonel, et al. The idea is that by taking care with the preparation of food, and giving ourselves time to eat it in the company of family and friends, we enrich our lives--and improve our digestion, BTW.
I think that communication has undergone a similar transformation--to fast words: These are words that move from our transient whim to the cyber-verse in a split second. Think Facebook status update, or Twitter: Bam! You've spoken. You blink and your blink is seen by people you really don't know very well, if at all. How tasty and satisfying is that, after you've gotten over the initial intoxication?
(I grant that a blog might seem like a strange place to be commenting on this, but most bloggers take time to reflect before posting.)
I think that the current obsession with speed speaks to a fundamental emptiness in our culture. I think we have a greed for ease in every area of our lives. It has driven the rise of convenience stores, fast food restaurants, and much of the cell phone universe, as well as providing all the wonderful machines that have made women's lives in particular less burdensome.
But it's like we've responded by being always in a hurry, and the more mod-cons (modern conveniences) we get, the faster we whirl. Why? Why do we need an eight minute lunch? What awaits us that's so urgent? It can't be work, since so many people spend so much office time on Twitter and FB, fighting boredom.
Why do we need constantly updated news? Why do we need instantaneous books? What are we afraid that we're missing?
So I'm advocating a change. Try Slow Words for a start. Don't buy a book on Amazon if there's a bookstore within reach as you follow your daily routine. Call the store and order the book you want; pick it up next week. Savor it under a tree, in the bath, at the swimming pool, in your living room (with the TV turned off). A book is the longest lasting, least expensive form of escape and entertainment there is.
Instead of momentary diversion with fast words, followed by emptiness, take time for Slow Words. They taste good and leave you feeling full of fine feelings accompanied by deep and satisfying thought.