“Slow Foxtrot Media: One medium at a time”

A newspaper in Montreal recently ran this article contemplating Slow Media, or — as Babelfish has mysteriously rendered it — "Slow Foxtrot Media." (Maybe Babelfish is also psychic? I do like Wilco…). It's interesting, too, that "solitude" became "loneliness." Though I speak French real good, the Babelfish translation below is more fun than mine would be. I've cleaned up the English text in just a few places to improve clarity or accuracy.

By Nathalie Collard, La Presse

Some read the news on their
cellphone while driving, others cannot be prevented from checking their
emails at the restaurant or are straightforwardly unable to exist
without spending hours per week in front of their computer to sail
on social Twitter, Facebook and other media. In a world where the
multitask became the standard, and where our capacity to concentrate is reduced like peau de chagrin, a citizen movement is asserting a more moderate
and balanced consumption media. After the Slow Foxtrot Food, the Slow Foxtrot Media.

For one year, in her
course of journalism at Long Island University, Jennifer Rauch has
tried an experiment with her students. Initially, she proposes to them one
complete day without media. “For some, it is quasi insupportable,
tells Rauch, united by telephone. Several said to me that they had been
unable to do it until the end. Not to go online, not to use their
cellphone was beyond their power. They were afraid to miss something. Of
course, they were wrong.”

Rauch is a pionnière of the movement Slow Media which gains slowly
but surely followers a little everywhere in the world. The Slow Foxtrot
Media is neither antitechnology nor antimodernity, it is a movement
which wishes to draw attention to the frantic rate of our
consumption of the media and its perverse effects, and which asserts a
certain hygiene of life as to their use.

Continue reading ““Slow Foxtrot Media: One medium at a time””

Vive la liberté!

The Slow Media Project has moved forward by leaps and bounds
this month, despite (or perhaps due to) there being scant evidence of such in
my blog. Here’s the update:

April 4: The
countdown begins.
The magic date for going offline, off-cellphone and
off-Facebook will be Independence Day, of course. Three months
to go, which gives ample time to arrange and publicize alternate methods of
contact that don’t involve e-mail, chat, or text message. For example: I now
have a P.O. Box, and a landline is in the works. I’ve been working for over a
month to unsubscribe from hundreds of e-mail lists — they’ve really
accumulated during the course of my 20 years “on e-mail” — so my in-boxes won’t look too daunting when I go back online next year.

April 11-17: National Library Week. The way I see it, the Slow Media movement is about appreciating
“heritage” and “heirloom” forms of media and communication, not necessarily rejecting digital ones. So I visited my local branch of the Brooklyn Public Library
in Bed-Stuy… Upon inquiring for a new library card, I was directed to apply
online at a nearby computer station. Most people there were, in fact, using the
public computers or playing CDs and DVDs rather than perusing the stacks or
handling dead trees. N.B.: The BPL seems eager to extract money for using
their free books; the borrowing card they gave me is labeled “debit card.”

April 19-25: Digital
Detox Week.
Our neighbors to the North have taken a shine to this notion of
Slow Media, as I was interviewed recently for stories by La Presse in Montreal
(story here, en francais) and others. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, for example,
assigned a “guinea pig” to spend a day offline and report back. And, the whole Digital Detox Week campaign, formerly TV Turnoff Week, comes
courtesy of Adbusters.org, which is based in Vancouver.

Next up: Purging all my social-media profiles, which means finding out whether I'm still registered with Friendster or MySpace. I haven't used them since, oh, 2006 or 2007.