When to Live Slow in a Fast-Paced World
Our digital-first world is a mecca of efficiency and a hub of Uber for everything. And that’s great when we want to accomplish a million things at once and educate ourselves on the fly. But certain slow-world pleasures cannot be replicated in a speedy, digitized way. That’s why we’ve put together a list of wonderful ways to experience life at a slower speed than usual. Go ahead, take a breather from the pace of the modern world and live in the moment.
Every year, it becomes more and more difficult to stay in touch (especially close touch) with your college friends. That’s why it’s so sweet when you get a chance to have a long conversation with someone you haven’t seen or caught up with in ages. Writing a long group email is nice. It definitely helps your closest friends stay up to date on everyone’s main life events. But it’s extra special when you dive into a phone conversation with someone you’ve known forever, and soon you’re talking about everything and nothing, instead of just life’s big details.
It’s becoming a trend for bands, such as She & Him, to start requesting phone-free environments during their tours. Other artists, like St. Vincent, are using the digital-viewing phenomenon as fuel for their lyrics, i.e. “Digital Witness.” It’s become impossible to go to a concert and not see a sea of bright screens in the air. We’re guilty of it, too. But recently, when we noticed we were watching a live performance of Elton John playing "Tiny Dancer" at Outside Lands through our video recording screens as opposed to on the main stage, we realized the need to put our tech on lockdown mode.
The age-old question “Did it happen if no one was there to see it?” applies in this situation. Yes, it’s fun to post Instagrams about the incredible concert we saw last night, but why pay for tickets and go through the hassle of parking if you’re just going to watch the performance on a screen anyway? Why don’t you wave one hand in the air and hold a beer in the other?
When we remember to open our mailbox, it’s usually stuffed to the brim with solicitations, advertisements, and bills. Once or twice a year—on our birthday or around Christmas—we might get the occasional card or letter, and it casts sunshine on our entire day. Surprise a friend or family member with that same feeling of warmth and connectedness and write them a letter just because. We love resurrecting the lost tradition of pen-pal-ing, especially with friends who live far away.
Dining with friends is always a lovely treat. But coming together in someone’s home to share an evening of cooking, eating, talking, and even cleaning up together can sometimes be one of the most enjoyable ways to spend an evening. We love it when dinner turns into endless conversations and impromptu dancing that just can’t happen at a restaurant. If your friends are tight on kitchen space, host a potluck instead. Grounding the evening around a meal in someone’s home is one of the perks of adult friendship.
It’s amazing we can live life while documenting our every move on our phones. But sometimes, that means we’re taking ourselves out of the moment too much to actual enjoy the thing it is we are doing. Our recommendation? Take a weekend—or maybe even just a day—off from your phone and walk around town with an actual camera. Not only will you think twice before pausing every two seconds to snap a shot, taking fewer photographs extends the time you’re present in the moment. Go the extra step and get your photographs printed as actual photographs. How rewarding is it when you see beautiful photographs of memorable occasions decorating your home?
Grocery shopping when hungry is an absolute no-no. But grocery shopping when preoccupied, whether on your phone or in your head, can also be a problem. Before you venture over to the grocery store or farmer's market, really think about the meals you are shopping for. Then, let the produce section guide you so that you are using the freshest in-season ingredients available.
Sometimes we won’t be thinking about our grocery basket and end up buying a bunch of fruit that doesn’t have any flavor because it’s not in season, or because we picked up the non-organic version by mistake. Think of grocery shopping as a fun, thoughtful privilege, not an annoying chore. Sometimes ordering groceries online is a must, especially during the work week, but giving yourself an hour to actually focus on the food you’re buying is a little treat from you to you.
We love being able to download just about anything on our Appleware, but there is something romantic and utterly unique about spending an afternoon wandering the stacks of our local bookstores. We love sifting through art books, checking out the staff favorites, and stumbling upon interesting titles on the sale rack. Plus, this blissful activity is completely free, so you can give your Apple Store account a breather.
Tinder and its competitors make meeting and dating a process that begins online. We’ve even heard of people making eyes with someone at a bar, only to wait until their face pops up on a dating app to initiate conversation. Go old school and make a new friend while you’re out. It’s fun to engage with the community around you. Who knows? You might meet your next love.
We rely on Spotify and Pandora to fuel our workdays, workouts, and usually dinner hour. But it’s so nice when you have time to really curate a playlist or, even better, chill out and listen to a record. Take the time to set your tunes and really curate a tone. The personalization will pay off!
Most of us read the news online and get pinged the second anything newsworthy happens. But nothing can replace the satisfaction of opening your front door on a Sunday morning to the thick stack of paper that is The New York Times (or your periodical of choise). We recommend subscribing to a Sunday paper, making a big pot of coffee, and snuggling under the covers as you read about world events, styles, cultures, and opinion pieces. This may be our favorite way to spend a Sunday morning!
What are your favorite ways to live slowly in a fast-paced world? Share your thoughts in the comments!