“Speed is the form of ecstasy the technical revolution has bestowed on man. As opposed to a motorcyclist, the runner is always present in his body, forever required to think about his blisters, his exhaustion; when he runs he feels his weight, his age, more conscious than ever of himself and of his time of life. This all changes when man delegates the faculty of speed to a machine: from then on, his own body is outside the process, and he gives over to a speed that is noncorporeal, nonmaterial, pure speed, speed itself, ecstasy speed”
‘Slowness’ is one of the best book I’ve ever read in my life. It was written in 1995 by an extraordinary Milan Kundera.
There is no single central theme in the book, although the title suggests that the speed of modern living is the key concept that is the root cause of the events of the book. Several events in the book are tied to the speed of movement, such as speeding cars or slow walks through a garden. It is a meditation on the effects of modernity upon the individual’s perception of the world.
“The degree of slowness is directionally proportional to the intensity of memory. The degree of speed is directionally proportional to the intensity of forgetting.”
This novel taught me to praise the slowness of each moment of my life and live it like it was endless. This novel taught me to respect my life and my personality, to take care of my family and friends, to pay attention on my feelings.
Nonetheless, life is too fast, chaotic and busy: there’s no time for meditation, there’s no time for praising slowness. Technologies, as Kundera himself argues, force us to be multitasking and overactive.
Is there any solution to multitasking? How can we escape its effects? Multitasking has become a norm, but juggling multiple things at one time is an inefficient way of working. While it seems counterintuitive, life coach Cheryl Hunter explains how doing less actually accomplishes more. In this video she gives us some engaging pieces of advice about how to reduce our multitasking attitudes and improve our short-term memory and feel stress relief.
Relax. Take your time. Focus on single issues. The less you do, the more you accomplish. These are some very easy rules which could help us to diminuish our amount of multitasking. Unfortunatly they are as easy to remember as hard to put in use. It is so difficult e.g. to renounce to update our social media while we are watching our favourite Tv show or writing down our assignments for Uni! We are multitasking molded and we perceive life as too short to be lived slowly.
A growing body of research shows that juggling many tasks, as so many people do in this technological era, can divide attention and hurt learning and performance. Does it also hinder short-term memory? It does, according to a recent research published in ‘Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences’.
Researchers said the key finding of the new study is that people between the ages of 60 and 80 have significantly more trouble remembering tasks after experiencing a brief interruption than do people in their 20s and 30s. During the study, subjects were asked to look at a scene, then were interrupted for several seconds by an image of a person’s face. They were asked to identify the person’s gender and approximate age, and then returned to answer questions about the earlier scene.
Even though the study did not revolve around interruptions from cellphones or other gadgets, one researcher said the results provide a “clear extrapolation” to the impact of a stream of incoming rings and buzzes.
Thus, the continuous interruptions of activities affect our short-memories and reduce significantly our mental capacities.
Multitasking make us more and more dummy? Maybe it is better to follow Cheryl Hunter’s recommendations!
Milan Kundera, Slowness, Harper Perennial, 1996
Matt Richtel, ‘Multitasking takes toll on memory, Study finds’, The New York Times, available at: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/11/multitasking-takes-toll-on-memory-study-finds/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0, (date of access 14 September 2014)