What is Slow Tech and How Can it Help You Take Back Your Life?

Slow Tech: woman holding polaroid camera

28 Jun What is Slow Tech and How Can it Help You Take Back Your Life?

Disruption. It’s a word often used by marketing teams to describe the next big thing in tech and the world of Silicon Valley startups. But, have we had enough disruption? Innovators are constantly working to streamline our lives into ever smaller devices, trying to convince us (and our wallets) that more tech means improved efficiency and productiveness. Yet, younger generations are reverting back to now ‘retro’ predecessors to today’s tech. There’s been a boom in Polaroid-style instant cameras, vinyls and even pen and paper stationery. So, what’s happening here? More and more people are noticing the need to move from an optimised use of technology to a more measured use. Meet the Slow Tech movement.

What is Slow Tech?

Firstly, let’s explore the meaning of Slow Tech and how it differs from Digital Detox. Digital Detox is a temporary break from all your digital devices to recharge, reconnect and become fully present in those moments. Slow Tech focuses on consciously changing your interactions with technology to become more mindful and deliberate. You could say that your learnings during a period of disconnectedness, or Digital Detox, help outline how you personally could introduce Slow Tech to your lifestyle – it will be different for everyone.

Slow Tech doesn’t mean no tech. It means moving away from a constant use of technology which we see is optimising our lives. Instead, Slow Tech means reflecting on how that technology is used and if a ‘slower’ alternative may actually bring us more benefit. Rather than achieving efficiency and constantly relying on our devices, Slow Tech encourages us to protect natural tendencies, such as creativity and the ability to reflect and contemplate freely. These natural tendencies can be damaged if our interaction with digital devices is not limited. Slow Tech adopters place particular emphasis on avoiding technology from dominating interactions and daily habits in parenting.

Slow tech: person typing on laptop with polaroid photos

 

3 Ways Slow Tech Can Help You Take Back Your Life and…

 

  1. Encourage Creativity

Creativity is one of the biggest losers when it comes to technology. Sure, we have a wealth of knowledge and inspiration at our fingertips, but when was the last time you put pen to paper, rather than hastily typing a note into your phone? When was your last ‘big’ idea?

Slow Tech Tip #1: For finding fresh ideas and inspiration, you need to remove all digital distractions that interrupt the process of your mind wandering – there’s a reason so many people have eureka moments in the shower! Sit somewhere quiet with a notepad and brainstorm.

  1. Build Stronger Relationships

If you’re guilty of using your phone to do something else while talking to someone in person, you’re ‘phone snubbing’ them. So many of us have fallen into the habit of trying to multi-task and become as efficient as possible. But in this scenario, it just doesn’t work. The phone acts as a barrier to connect deeply with the person in front of you.

Slow Tech Tip #2: Make a rule that when someone is speaking you, be it a colleague, friend or family member, you put your phone down. At home, designating phone-free spaces, such as the dinner table, can help preserve real conversation.

  1. Improve Your Productivity

One of the areas where the invasion of technology has had most impact is the bedroom. Many of us use our phones as alarm clocks and reply to emails and messages in bed. We’re also guilty of wasting time scrolling through social feeds and watching videos that eat into our zzz time. Though it’s not just about time wasted, those moments before sleep are for unwinding and switching off. Using a digital device that emits blue light will keep you feeling alert and your brain focusing on whatever is on the screen. This means that as well as getting less sleep, your quality of sleep also reduces.

As we’re continuously becoming more and more obsessed with being productive, it’s funny that getting a good night’s sleep always comes in last place. It’s no secret that poor sleep reduces productivity and our ability to concentrate and multi-task.

Slow Tech Tip #3: Make your bedroom, or at very least, your bed, a phone-free space. Replying to that email at 11pm? It can wait.

So, Slow Tech doesn’t mean no tech. It means mindfully recognising areas of your lifestyle that tech has invaded to a point where its use is detrimental, rather than beneficial. It means reducing these detrimental interactions and protecting our natural abilities and habits.

Are you ready to join the Slow Tech movement?

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