The Slow Media Manifesto is essential reading. This trio of German authors — Benedikt Köhler, Sabria David and Jörg Blumtritt — helped get this Slow ball rolling! They describe how Slow Media contributes to sustainability:
- It promotes mono-tasking, craftsmanship, diversity, and local communities.
- It respects users and promotes active consumption.
- It is progressive, robust, long-lived, palpable, and mindful.
- It transcends advertising and industrial production.
- It considers listening as important as speaking.
Perhaps most importantly, Slow Media is not reactionary, they explain. It relies on technological achievements and networked society, rather than negating them. “It is because of the acceleration of multiple areas of life, that islands of deliberate slowness are made possible and essential for survival,” Köhler, David and Blumtritt wrote. Slow Media are not a contradiction to the speed and simultaneity of digital media but rather “an attitude and a way of making use of them.”
I talk more about the manifesto in a Transformations article devoted to the origins of slow media. It introduces an array of people who think our information-entertainment matrix needs a dose of slowness, following the Slow Food model. Here are some founding texts about how to make our mediated lives more sustainable:
- “Move Over Slow Food: Introducing Slow Media” by Elissa Altman, HuffPost.
- “Time for a Slow-Word Movement” by Trevor Butterworth, Forbes.
- “Not So Fast: A Manifesto for Slow Communication” by John Freeman, Wall Street Journal.
- “Slow Journalism: Why Doesn’t the UK Have a Culture of Serious Non-fiction Like the U.S.?” by Susan Greenberg, Prospect.
- “The Slow News Movement” by Arianna Huffington, HuffPost.
- “A Slow-Books Manifesto: Read Books. As Often as You Can. Mostly Classics” by Maura Kelly, The Atlantic.
- “The Art of Slow Reading” by Patrick Kingsley, The Guardian.
- “After Shirley Sherrod, Time for the Slow-Blogging Movement” by Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post.
Recommended Reading List
A curated selection of books that inspired me to write Slow Media and helped me develop ideas about mindful media, green media and post-Luddism. Of hundreds of sources cited in the book, this is a handful that I absolutely love! Together they will help you better understand relationships between media, Slow philosophy, human well-being, and environmental sustainability:
- Berg, Maggie and Barbara Seeber. The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy.
- Honoré, Carl. In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed.
- Klein, Naomi. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.
- Lanier, Jaron. You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto.
- Lasn, Kalle. Culture Jam: How to Reverse America’s Suicidal Consumer Binge — and Why We Must.
- Laufer, Peter. Slow News: A Manifesto for the Critical News Consumer.
- Levy, David. Mindful Tech: How to Bring Balance to Our Digital Lives.
- Lopez, Antonio. Greening Media Education: Bridging Media Literacy with Green Cultural Citizenship.
- Maushart, Susan. The Winter of Our Disconnect: How Three Totally Wired Teenagers (and a Mother who Slept with Her iPhone) Pulled the Plug on Their Technology and Lived to Tell the Tale
- Maxwell, Richard and Toby Miller. Greening the Media.
- McChesney, Robert. Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy.
- McKibben, Bill. Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future.
- Pang, Alex Soojung-Kim. The Distraction Addiction: Getting the Information You Need and the Communication You Want, Without Enraging Your Family Annoying Your Colleagues, and Destroying Your Soul.
- Parkins, Wendy and Geoffrey Craig. Slow Living.
- Petrini, Carlo. Slow Food Nation: Why Our Food Should Be Good, Clean, Fair.
- Postman, Neil. Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology.
- Powers, William (not the following author). Hamlet’s Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age.
- Powers, WIlliam (not the previous author). New Slow City: Living Simply in the World’s Fastest City.
- Rheingold, Howard. Net Smart: How to Thrive Online.
- Rifkin, Jeremy. Time Wars: The Primary Conflict in Human History.
- Rushkoff, Douglas. Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age.
- Sax, David. The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Still Matter.
- Schor, Juliet B. True Wealth: How and Why Millions of Americans are Creating a Time-Rich, Ecologically Light, Small-Scale, High-Satisfaction Economy.
- Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other.
- Wilson, Jeff. Mindful America: The Mutual Transformation of Buddhist Meditation and American Culture.