Christian Long

Carl Honore: Praises Slowness

In TED Talks on April 10, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Reflection by DEVEN P.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Carl Honore: Praises Slowness

Like Carl Honore, I have too noticed that things around us have speeding up.

Just the other day I saw an advertisement for a new phone that lets you speed up what is probably the fastest way to communicate, texting. The phone was called the Samsung Omnia II. It uses a new type of keyboard called Swype where you don’t even have to lift your finger off the keyboard. Texting on the keyboard is so fast and easy that it recently broke the record for fastest text message typed. Although speed is innovative it seems to be more of a state of mind, with many things such as speed yoga.

As Llango Ramasamay said in his comment, “Yoga’s main teaching is the benefits of doing things slowly, the slower you breathe the healthier you will be, and if we eat slowly, very slowly we will consume only a little and that is more than enough for us. For example my yoga master advised me to take 10 minutes to eat a banana. I tried it it was very difficult, I ate it in 5 minutes but I felt my tummy filled.”

Speed yoga is only the illusion of a process to get you healthier and relaxed. In reality speeding up will only be a setback.  The school that Honore talks about proves this.

It’s amazing how having no homework can cause a 20% increase on test grades. Slowing down allows you time to think things out and step back and look at things from a broader view it shies away from the instinctive side. By always streamlining everything kills creativity and makes your actions at work and school less efficient. You will not be able to give it your all if you do not slow down, which why I found it interesting when he said that many of the top notch schools are sending letters to incoming freshman to make sure that they slow down.

The fact of the matter is speed is a global phenomenon. It is everywhere and it is marketed such as “In just 20 minutes for two weeks you can get in shape.” Although you may not be able to slow down in many cases like school and work due to making certain deadlines it is very imperative that you slow down in your life out of school and work.

For further reference about Samsung’s Swype keyboard:

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  1. This topic is very applicable to we teenagers. Our age is constantly trying to make everything more efficient and smaller and faster- but this pace of life leaves us lethargic and stressed. In short, it’s not good for us.

    Like Honore says, we now are obsessed with moving quickly. I often find myself wishing there were more hours in a day because I have so much work to do, and I have to cut back on the quality of work I do in order to get it done. This habit doesn’t add up to success. In order to meet or deadlines, we end up cutting back things which are essential to us: rest, meditation, relaxing, etc. In the end, those of us who can’t replace those things with coffee and scheduled 4 hours of sleep end up failing- and failure is something that we try to prevent by inventing new things which will help us succeed but demand two more hours of our day… Its a never ending cycle that we’ve flung ourself into. Where do we draw the line between mental sanity and well-being and success?

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