I've written about slowness here before and so has Bruce so it was nice to see a post yesterday from Nancy White offering up the idea of slow community I was enthused by this and wrote a longish comment which, perhaps because for ironic reasons, kept failing to arrive. And so this morning, in desperation, I am posting the comment here in the hope that eventually it will find its way to Nancy's own blog. The problems may themselves be due to slowness (my current reliance on dialup) which makes them quite poignant! Here it is:
Nancy, I cannot tell you how much this resonates with me right now. For the past week I’ve had two problems with speed: (1) my broadband is broken so at home I’m reduced to dialup – am writing this in notepad now to paste in since I can’t be sure the dialup with stay connected – can you remember how that feels? (although I confess to rather revelling in the glorious sound of the modem dialling in..) and (2) I have been ill with a virus which involved many hours laying on the sofa watching crap TV. As a result my entire life slowed to about 10% of its usual pace,and I have been musing a lot on how that feels. Early last week it was very weird, but as the days have passed I’ve become more used to it and I’ve been pondering on how much time I spend being distracted by all the hi-speed interactivity we’ve got going at the moment – of which Twitter is the prime culprit. (Having said that, without Facebook I would not have known it is your birthday and without Twitter I would not have found this post.)
However, what with Twitter and Skype etc we have interactivity and presence in huge amounts and in ways that were never possible in the 90s when you and I first met each other across the O’Reilly webboards. I spent all my time then trying to find apps that were better and faster than Webboard – and now we have them,or at least we’re closer to them. But sometimes I wonder whether the quality of the interactions we can now have are really better and faster, or just more numerous? More people pushing past me on a noisy street?
I don’t know, but more and more recently I’ve found myself longing for a way to be slow without having to disconnect altogether — but do you think that’s possible?
Sue (count me in)
Comment on my comment:
My experience illustrates one reason why we may generally dislike slow community – because slow connection can lead to involuntary disconnection, whereas what we want is to feel in control of our connectedness, and at a speed which suits our individual sensibilities.