On air: Do we all need to slow down?

tube1We ask because we’ve been watching a debate growing in many parts of the world about the speed at which we all live, and whether it’s good for us. Do you like living quickly, getting things done and staying in touch with as many people as possible? Do mobile phones, Blackberries, fast food and improved transport all improve things for you?

Do you think that the pace of your life is affecting your health or your mood?

Below are some links mainly featuring people who clearly think fast pace brings stress. But, to take one example, I’ve met plenty of Ghanaians who are far more stressed by the slow pace at which they feel things move (see Nigerian article below).

So is it right to assume fast living is stressful? Is this just older generations complaining about how things have changed?

And wouldn’t it be more stressful if we got less done, earned less money and saw fewer people?

Post here: http://www.worldhaveyoursay.com

Launch of the Slow Down London festival
Its organiser says Londoners get agitated at the slightest delay (which is of course true). ‘We’ve stuff to get on with,’ would be the reply if you asked them why.

‘African time’ is evidently killing Africa
Nigerian columnist saying that the more relaxed attitude to time is not a positive.

We’re more fearful
This study refers to the UK, and focuses on the media and politicians’ role in increasing people’s fears. But I wonder if the pace of life also feeds into how anxious we feel.

Is my fast-paced life affecting my kids?
discussion on VideoJug

American columnist says we should ‘take full value’ of time

Here’s advice on managing stress in a fast-paced world – but do you need to also need to manage stress at the slow pace of your life?

Slow Food Campaignit started in Italy but has spread

104 Responses to “On air: Do we all need to slow down?”

  1. 1 steve
    April 14, 2009 at 14:13

    Fast food a good thing? Perhaps if you are a heart surgeon, you’ll have a lot more business…. I think if anything, the fast pace of life is going to lead to more stress, more depression, and more general health problems. And probably more rage as well.

  2. 2 globalcomedy
    April 14, 2009 at 14:22

    In this global economy, it’s even harder to turn off the blackberry, voicemail and more. More businesses are expecting more work for less hours/pay. Which at times can lead to ulgy confrontations or even quitting jobs.

  3. 3 Abram
    April 14, 2009 at 14:38

    Yes, indeed! I say, the sooner the better! Even we are not capable of listening to one another, because, lately, everyone expects to hear only Fast-Talkers and Hollywood-Mimickers. We need to live a slower, more measured existence, in virtually every area of life — including sex. In life, I think many problems could be solved if we would know how to balance things in a rather slow and steady manner. If we drive slow we will certainly enjoy the scenery – but if we drive fast we may join the scenery.

  4. 4 Jack (Huntington, West Virginia, US)
    April 14, 2009 at 14:39

    We would all do well to think a bit more and rush a bit less. When speeding through our day to day tasks, we must maintain some perspective. Consider things in terms of driving. If I’m attempting to make it to an interview on time, for instance, and I catch myself speeding en route, then it is important that I remember that I may well get pulled over by the police (and/or become involved in a traffic accident) as a result of my recklessness. We should never forget the simple fact that time is really quite relative. (And keep our eyes on the road, rather than our watch.)

  5. April 14, 2009 at 14:40

    did you ever notice that when you shut yourself completely off from the “world” and get out into nature, that your whole life improves? the enemy steals our joy by bombarding us with a diluge of distractions that keep us from concentrating on those things in life which offer the most joy. material things of man can never fulfill us, so make time to treasure GOD’S creations: smell the roses!

  6. April 14, 2009 at 14:43

    Life has become so tense for many people because they have to do so many things to do in a single day. The stress can start from the effort to get to work on time and to finish it on time.

    In the past people could do things at leisure. Now from childhood, people have to learn as fast and as much as possible to quickly get what they want in adulthood.

    However, speed is a positive thing as it gives the chance to have as many things as possible. It’s dreary , for example ,to waste so much time to get to a destination when there are fast means.

    To balance the need to have hectic and fast life is to know when to relax to get new energy to be at the maximum pace. Lying down and chewing grass for the rest of one’s life is in itself a waste of life.

  7. 7 Tony from Singapura
    April 14, 2009 at 14:44

    I think that the stress of fast pace only comes from bad planning. If you cannot get to your next meeting or have not finished an assignment on schedule, you will feel stress. However the stress is caused by bad time management – improve time management and you will lose the stress through being realistic about what can be achieved or achieve more through greater efficiency.

  8. April 14, 2009 at 15:01

    I would say yes, the pace at which we live will make us unhappy, stressed, and can eventually kill us.
    I, myself had a life of go go go and to an extent I still do, but the go is on my terms, no one elses. I used to work 18 hour days, raise my two children (or worry about who was why I was at work), and still try to maintain a social relationship. I had a nervous breakdown at 27. The only cure for me was a complete start over. I moved with my family. I now pick up my kids everyday from school, after I finish my own day at school. We relax at night and do our homework and such, but the feeling of constant deadlines, pressure to do more, and anxiety between us all is gone. We still maintain our craving for speed when it comes to our internet and gaming conections, but our personal speed has deminished. We are a happier family that just takes our time doing the things we want to do.
    My friends joke and say it wasn’t the breakdown that slowed me down, it was the southern heritage (USA Southern) that finally took hold of my spinning life and slowed it to a southern crawl.
    Either way, I don’t think I can ever let myself be hurried by the need to keep up with everyone else ever again.

  9. 9 Nelson Isibor
    April 14, 2009 at 15:01

    Getting to live life on the fast lane maybe based on individual choices and different circumstances. But why choose to do things slowly when they can be done much faster? Personally I get irritated by delays and slow internet connections because it results in waste of productive time.

  10. 10 Ana Milena, Colombia
    April 14, 2009 at 15:06

    Hi, everyone! 🙂
    I think we really need to slow down. We’re all becoming dependent on fast technology, speedy communication, quick procedures, little time to spend on our family and friends, fast methods to learn and lose weight, a little time to devote to God, instant news from the web…

    Because of that, what used to take even hours is now a matter of seconds, and we get out of control when something’s wrong. Quality (of work, life, relationships, etc.) has also been affected because of that. I wish we could somehow get in perspective and remember how life was some decades ago since, incredibly, these advances in ‘civilization’ is driving us mad. :-S

    Cheers!! 😉

  11. 11 David
    April 14, 2009 at 15:09

    I just found that I had no brakes. So tell me what to do about it because i need to slow down.

  12. 12 Bernard Okello
    April 14, 2009 at 15:15

    Yah people forget that the faster you go, the faster you go also. So as long as we need to go faster thtas when we will all perish faster

  13. April 14, 2009 at 15:17

    The best way to make the most of time is know how to divide it positively for work and leisure. Too much time at work makes one just almost a work machine without the ability to enjoy the other sides of life.

    Concerning developing countries one of their drawbacks is the lack of respect of time. There are many developmental projects that take much more time than they should a the expense of the general welfare. If a project is set, for example, to be achieved in one year, it can take more than two years.

    Concerning education, many students in poor countries have to walk miles to get to their schools which affects their learning abilities. A student who needs 15 minutes to get to school through comfortable transport isn’t the same as the one who needs at least one hour on foot. So time also plays a part in the social divide.

  14. 14 gary
    April 14, 2009 at 15:20

    We’re pretty much stuck to the time vector, so slowing down is not possible. We could contrive to have a bit more fun while sliding along though. Many of us work to support our possessions, even with sure knowledge the only things worth having are free.

  15. 15 David
    April 14, 2009 at 15:25

    What a true little story Ana Milena from Colombia I love what you posited.

    Thanks Ana.

  16. April 14, 2009 at 15:26

    @ David
    I hate to say it, but you may only slow down when you hit a wall.

    Everything needs to be able to stop, and if you can’t apply the breaks when you feel the need, it will take a larger force to stop you when you move faster than you want and can handle.

  17. 17 John Henry
    April 14, 2009 at 15:27

    Ros, the mere fact that you can post this question to millions of people around the world and recieve answers – in a matter of seconds – that have to be given consideration before being published is in itself evidence of the speed at which change has taken hold of human expectations.

    Can we reinvent technology by slowing it down? Can we slow down expectations? Sometimes I suspect that President Obama must have several clones when one considers the rate at which he works and physically travels.

    If humanity slows down many individuals will fall off the ferris wheel of life. If we speed up – as I suspect we will – many will find that life is too short and many will also fall off the wheel.

    If we need to slow down, how do we do it? Living as long as the biblical patriach Methusulah – 969 yrs. – may not be the answer. Nor may living for 36 yrs. and being the catalyst for change over many centuries – Jesus Christ – be the answer.

    We all need to/must slow down from time to time and to speed up according to our individual expectations…slow down to enjoy and speed up to pursue individual missions. I am convinced that aging has greater benefits than the expectations of youth.

  18. April 14, 2009 at 15:37

    James from Kenya

    We need to be organised about how we spend time. we can live fast but still create time for our lives I at times wish in Kenya we had more jobs created that way we could live first and make more money. I am pro live fast and make more wealth.

  19. 19 Tony from Singapura
    April 14, 2009 at 15:47

    Some people do need to slow down, however there are others that need to go a bit faster. Different countries and different cultures have a different standard, for example:

    In Singapore all of the inhabitants will tell you that they have a fast pace of life and that they are “stressed out”. That is how they honestly see things and they are not lying when they complain of being stressed ou. However by Hong Kang standards, the Singaporeans are in slow motion.

    Therefore it is necessary to be able to measure the pace of life. Here is how you do it…

    Go to the Central Business District, sit back and observe what people are doing during their lunch break. If you see a majority of people walking fast, almost running, eating while moving and generally getting in each other’s way – then you are in a fast pace kind’a place (Hong Kong, Sydney etc)

    If you see people dawdling around struggling to fill a 1 hour lunch period and with no particular desire to start the afternoon shift earlier than 2pm… you are in Singapore.

  20. 20 Another view from Singapore
    April 14, 2009 at 16:01

    A taxi driver , that is me was battered by a passenger because he did.nt speed as he demanded. Can we really slow down? You want to but others will not let you.

  21. 21 Patti in Cape Coral, FL
    April 14, 2009 at 16:07

    Absolutely we all need to slow down, but I don’t think technology is completely responsible for our speeded up lifestyles. Just because technology frees up more of your time, it doesn’t mean you need to use that extra time to create more work and stress for yourself. I think the speeded up pace has more to do with the need to acquire more and more things, and the need for constant entertainment, and then of course, the need to work more and more to keep up with all this. Maybe we need to learn to be more content just to be, and not to need constant stimulation, or to own so many objects.

    When I visit family in Colombia it’s impossible not to notice how much less people have, the slower pace of life, and how much happier and content they seem

  22. 22 Bruce in NE Ohio, the States
    April 14, 2009 at 16:07

    As an unofficial, yet very militant, advocate for all things bicycle I want to scream YES! The entire “mechanized” world needs desperately to get away from instant gratification. No one here (N. Am.) walks or rides human powered transport anymore (unless it’s for recreation & even then, maybe). If for no other reason than our health, which is good enough, we should all take our collective feet off the accelerator pedal for a while each day.

  23. April 14, 2009 at 16:07

    if you go too slow, you might get killed kipsang in kericho, kenya

  24. 24 Tony from Singapura
    April 14, 2009 at 16:15

    Singapore Taxi Driver makes an important point. If a person doesnt manage their time properly and is stressed out because he/she is running late for an appointment … there is a high degree of temptation to speed , run red lights etc – now this is something that can kill you.

  25. 25 Matt Roberts
    April 14, 2009 at 16:30

    Slow down, yes, indeed. I traveled to Greece from my native U.S.A. over a decade ago. I marveled at their enviable lack of regard for the fast life. For example, many of them spent several leisurely hours eating supper with family and freinds, every night it seemed. For the Greeks, even in Athens, showing up for work was a distinctly informal, untimed affair. The other side of the coin: Little got done on time, or at all. Airplanes in and out of Athens may have the worst “on-time” record anywhere. My own flight home was delayed by two days. But, after three weeks in Greece and on the beautiful Crete, I had learned not to care much about that. I got home, two days late. So what? The Mediterranean Lifestyle: We all need to learn from that.

  26. 26 Peter sc
    April 14, 2009 at 16:40

    @Tony lee from singapura did’nt you read. The passenger wanted to kill the cab driver. Not the traffic lights. The fast pace of life increased violence.

  27. 27 archibald in Oregon
    April 14, 2009 at 16:42

    Overpopulation, more competition, stress over ability to survive, technology makes it easy, until it breaks , more stress, the demands of children, boss, partner, no time for inner reflection or change, more stress, depression, lack of productivity, much yelling, incessant work, physical deterioration, gradual decline into death…….Finally a nap.
    Or you could just opt out and take a different path, it is a choice we are well conditioned NOT to make, though it is right there in front of us…….It is just so much easier to follow everyone else, or is it?

  28. 28 Anthony
    April 14, 2009 at 16:48

    I wish I could, but my generation (28 years old) needs to “be in the fast lane” to be successful, and because of this has fallen in love with instant gratification. I’d love to slow down, but I doubt it would be effective in L.A. in 2009.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  29. 29 Bob in Queensland
    April 14, 2009 at 16:49

    At the age of 47, after 23 years of flying around the world, dodging both bullets and corporate accountants who wanted ever-larger profit margins, I suffered from high blood pressure and had a minor heart attack. I took this as a major “slow down call” and now, 10 years later, I’m enjoying early retirement in Australia.

    Yes, people need to slow down and worry about the right things, not artificial trivia.

  30. 30 Dave in Florida
    April 14, 2009 at 16:49

    I am very happy living in the slow lane. It can be done, but you have to commit yourself to change and follow through.

    Everyone I know is aware that just because you call my cell phone — it does not mean I am obligated to answer. If I feel like talking to you, I will. If not, leave a message and I will return your call — when I feel like returning it.

    Enjoy life!

  31. April 14, 2009 at 16:49

    In the sense of humanity and civilization, yes we do need to slow down the speed we are using. Our civilization, our in-law-relations, our education, our humanity, everything moving out of specified path. We do need to restrict ourselves to particular speed.

    And in the sense of speedy growth of our lifestyle and inventions, we are in the right path, no need to slow down ourselves, but at the same time it’s our responsibility to see our future generation’s property must not be destroyed with our speed or over speed.

  32. 32 Mohammed Kondawa
    April 14, 2009 at 16:56

    I think everything in life is step-by-step, because If you rush you will crush

    Mohammed Kondawa

    Monrovia Liberia

  33. 33 Bob in Queensland
    April 14, 2009 at 16:56

    Oh, and zeroing in on your inclusion of “fast food” in your list of possible “improvements”, may I commend to you the SLOW FOOD ASSOCIATION.

  34. April 14, 2009 at 16:58

    One major reason why Africa is lacking behind is because Africans consume more time doing nothing. Therefore it appears that their world is slow as compare to the Westerners who occupy their time with as many things as possible. That is one of the reasons why life is perceived to be ahead in the West than in Africa.

  35. 35 Tony from Singapura
    April 14, 2009 at 17:02

    @ Peter sc

    I read that the taxi driver got bashed up because his passenger had bad time management was stressed out and took it out of the taxi driver. Give that same stressed out pasenger a set of car keys and he will be driving dangerously. Its asimple extension of the concept.

  36. April 14, 2009 at 17:07

    There is always an optimum level in doing things; Speed kills is an oft-quoted saying: how true! Moving slowly or in a lackadaisical fashion is the other end : this could make you nervous and consequently impede progress. But reaching the optimum level requires good common-sense, wisdom, experience, punctuality and definitely a certain amount of luck! Stress is an over-used word. A good dose of optimism (plus a little bit of stress) prepares you for the worst-case scenario and helps you to be realistic. Pessimism defeats you even before you start your venture. So being realistic, optimistic, level-headed and focussed enables you to move in the right tempo. When used properly, technological gadgets are a real boon. Progress coupled with a sense of purpose will help us evolve positively.

  37. 37 Savane
    April 14, 2009 at 17:08

    You know when I need to slow down?

    When I type slower than I’m thinking and what I read back doesn’t make sense!!! 😉

    Don’t get me started on my handwriting! Am I the only person who can’t always read their own handwriting?

  38. 39 Ravichandran
    April 14, 2009 at 17:38

    Speed is a relative term!

  39. 40 Morf
    April 14, 2009 at 17:38

    For those attempting to slow down, I would recommend sitting down – preferably outside on a nice day – with a book of poetry. Reading a good poem out loud will change your day.

  40. 41 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    April 14, 2009 at 17:41

    The short answer? Yes.

    Of course, the question isn’t that simply defined. For one thing, we need to distinguish between speed and efficiency. Efficiency and cooperation create more free time for people to enjoy. We also need to consider that the real problem is not being too busy, but too busy doing things that don’t create any real wealth.

    The real trick to slowing down is understanding why we work. There is something fundamentally wrong with an economy where a vast resource of people willing and able to contribute to the general welfare are unable to do so because it would not be profitable to the individuals trying to extract more wealth from the economy than they create. When we finally solve this conundrum, our ancestors will look backwards at our time the same way we look back at the time of Kings, Lords and peasants. And they will see themselves as equally better off again in material and spiritual wealth.

  41. 42 saad khosa, Jaffrabad Pakistan
    April 14, 2009 at 17:49

    we must slow down in the larger interest of humanity as we are becoming selfish becasue of first moving world.

  42. April 14, 2009 at 17:53

    I believe that on the whole, our stress levels have increased and our nutritional intake has decreased the more we see ‘speed’ and ‘convenience’ integrated into our society. While I think that an individual’s choice should dictate their own lifestyle, it can be said that those who are content with what they have are being whisked along by the momentum of the anxious mob around them.

  43. 44 Jessica in NYC
    April 14, 2009 at 18:12

    From the prospective of a person who lives in the city that never sleeps, productivity is a measure of success. I can’t understand why anyone want to be disconnected from the world.

  44. 45 Essexgirl
    April 14, 2009 at 18:14

    It’s not that we live too fast …… it’s all because there are just too many of us. Almost all the planet’s problems can be traced to that. Just too many people.

    When everywhere is crowded, when there are more people than decent jobs and more people than can have a good standard of living, and everyone has to scrabble and scramble to make themselves noticed amongst the sheer mass of people, then life gets faster, more stressed and tougher. We have to do more and more, produce more and more to keep it all afloat. It is unsustainable.

    Life is much more measured and everyone gets a good standard of living, in places where our numbers are fewer.

  45. 46 Tori
    April 14, 2009 at 18:16

    As life increases in speed and communication becomes easier and more widespread, our ability to set personal boundaries diminishes. Our employers, friends and families begin taking for granted their ability to reach us anywhere at anytime and with this comes an expectation that we will be available to them. Furthermore, there’s an expectation that we will be willing to meet their demands regardless of the awkward or unreasonable nature of those demands.

  46. 47 Scott [M]
    April 14, 2009 at 18:16


    Most of the stress related to this is not people who do things quickly, but people who are rude, sloppy and inconsiderate. The fast and the slow can live side-by-side if they get out of each others way. Most of the time everyone feels entitled to do whatever they want at whatever speed and they never move out of the way for others. That is the real problem!

  47. 48 Vijay
    April 14, 2009 at 18:16

    Do we all need to slow down?

    Who is this “we”in the question ,most of the world has never moved quickly and does not have the luxury of existential navel gazing , common to western media types.

    Ich habe angst Warum?

  48. 49 Robert, Ireland
    April 14, 2009 at 18:18

    The impact of technology on the pace of our lives depends on the ways by which we use it. If we harness it properly, we can use it to create more free time for us to enjoy the things in life that we really want to. Like using a mobile phone to free up time that would’ve been wasted waiting for your friend who’s running late?

  49. 50 saad khosa, Jaffrabad Pakistan
    April 14, 2009 at 18:20

    Haste makes waste. Being first is not soulation of problem. Although we can de more work but the work can not be perfect. So we must slow down.

  50. 51 ecotopian
    April 14, 2009 at 18:21

    Ros asked if we were willing t ogive up our mobile devices. It brought to mind an article I read in March on The Huffington Post called “The Difficulties of Disconnecting”. It talks about how tough it is to disconnect in today’s world. We are expected to be available at all times now. I mean, how dare you turn off your cell phone. Why is there this need to be continually connected and always on? Maybe I am some what of a Luddite and just don’t get it. Or maybe I just like my privacy, who knows. I glad I’m not going at breakneck speed all the time.

  51. 52 Tracy
    April 14, 2009 at 18:21

    This hits a bit close to home. I am 36 and I was just dianosed with congestive heart failure. My heart is severly enlarged. My cardiologist wants me to start taking a drug I would be on for the rest of my life. I have normal blood pressure but they want it 90/60. I learned you can find the brakes with sufficient motivation. I quite coffee. I get up earlier so I don’t rush in the morning. I am working on going to bed earlier. I am changing my outlook. I will not spend time on people who stress me for no good reason. I have dropped my blood pressure from 120/80 to 110/60. Life isn’t a race to the finish, don’t be in such a hurry. Walk your dog. Play with your kids. Watch a movie. Read a book.

    Portland OR

  52. April 14, 2009 at 18:26

    Life is stressful in Singapore!

  53. 54 Geoff, Edmonton
    April 14, 2009 at 18:29

    There is a need to slow down in life to keep oneself healthy. Although I work in a business that requires me to be busy during the day, i make sure i take the personal time i need and turn off my communication devices when i leave the office. People just need to learn to unplug.

  54. 55 Tom D Ford
    April 14, 2009 at 18:29

    Years ago I heard a comparison of French versus American people:

    “The French people work to live and the American people live to work.”

    I find that French attitude to be the most admirable.

  55. 56 Vijay
    April 14, 2009 at 18:29

    It is more about control of ones surroundingsand activity,if you do not have your future in your own hands you are going to get anxious.

  56. 57 Jessica
    April 14, 2009 at 18:32

    When my daughter was 5 months old, my husband suggested selling our home, buying a motor home and traveling the country. I resisted at first, knowing I would not have much contact with others through phone, email, etc. I went anyway, and I had the time of my life. I was really able to focus on my family, the world around me, and on myself. I learned so much during the 7 months we traveled that has helped to shape my life now, and inform my plans for the future. I do believe that if we would all allow ourselves the time to step back from the busy-ness of life, to focus and center ourselves, the world as a whole would benefit.

  57. 58 kancha
    April 14, 2009 at 18:33

    The technology should be used to help us in our lives. It should be used to send an email instantainously instead of sending a snail mail. It should be used to plough the field mechanically not manually. But today, the technology has been shaping our lives in a way which we cannot control and that’s the bad point. You must cook fast, eat fast, go to work in time fast, walk fast, work fast, serve people fast and everything fast. What are we running for? More work means more money but time is just the same. So how to make it? Speed up your life.

    Money is not everything. Most of life is being happy : physically, mentally and spiritually. And by being in constant pressure of the life’s pace one can never achieve the real happiness.

  58. 59 steve
    April 14, 2009 at 18:36

    re: 6 month vacation

    How many people can afford to do that? Say if he already had a job, does he think an employer would allow him 6 months off to take a vacation, or would he be fine with 2 weeks like the rest of us? I went to university and law school, and because I didn’t have rich parents or a trust fund, I had to go straight to work, and not take 6 months off. Would it be nice? Sure, but I doubt most people have the luxury of doing that.

  59. 60 Scott [M]
    April 14, 2009 at 18:37


    I’ve never, ever met anyone that I thought was fast. Half of the people who think they are “fast” are just neurotic and need to work harder because they don’t have the intelligence to do things at an acceptable pace. Having said that, I admire people who are quick and efficient, aware of the space they occupy, and move around without getting in the way. This alleged “fast” thing is just a self-important social style. We are all so busy and so important and everyone is calling me all the time. It isn’t a real thing, it is a farce and it’s tacky.

    The “slow” folks are a bore also. They last thing we need is another lame movement by people who feel superior because they think they have some insight on how people ought to live. Just another form of evangelism. Yuck.

  60. 61 Vijay
    April 14, 2009 at 18:37

    If the western world is aging,of course they are going to get anxoius about the rest of the world catching up and over taking them(nations and peoples who they ruled over and disregarded),naturally they want to slow things down to a pace at which they can still compete.

    One aspect of my life I should slow down is the speed at which I eat and cook.

  61. 62 Patti in Cape Coral, FL
    April 14, 2009 at 18:37

    I don’t think technology is completely responsible for our speeded up lifestyles. I think the speeded up pace has more to do with the need to acquire more and more things, and the need for constant entertainment, and then of course, the need to work more and more to keep up with all this. If used correctly, technology should ease our stress.

  62. 63 Victor
    April 14, 2009 at 18:37

    The modern 40 hour work week takes more time away from the family than the lifestyle of a farmer living before the industrial age. Back then Long hours were put in during the spring and summer in order to plant and harvest the crops. During the rest of the year the work day was very short.

    I appreciate the advent of the dishwasher the computer, and the clothes dryer because they give me more time with my family. However, I have gladly given up my minivan for a subcompact in order to escape the stress of the corporate environment and I will give up the subcompact at the first opportunity for a bicycle and/or a horse.

  63. 64 Karin
    April 14, 2009 at 18:38

    I think a part about being slow is providing balance. I’m a full-time student at a University, I work on weekends, and I have extracurricular activities that take a couple hours a day. I still try to find the time to go for a walk or run regularly, and I cook my own food a lot. Being in a dorm the easy or fast choice would be to pick up my meals from the dining hall- but I find that by preparing my food myself I’m more likely to make healthy choices as well as give myself a break from studying, working etc. While it seems like there are a lot of things to do, I find that the variety allows me to keep my mind away from stress.

  64. 65 Prajwal from Nepal
    April 14, 2009 at 18:38

    Take it easy.Happyness and speed …both are relative.Just go on..walk forward not back wards thats all.

  65. 66 jane hull
    April 14, 2009 at 18:39

    One unspoken source of rush, speed, an stress in the US is the offloading of services onto customers in the name of efficiency to the business or customer control to the victim- customer.
    Used to be that I set my groceries on the belt and a clerk rang them up while a bagger packed them. During this time I got my money out or my check written. By the time I finished paying I was ready to walk out of the store with my purchases bagged. Now I am expected to do all of those chores which lengthens the time I spend shopping considerably, doing the work of 3. This stress is also exacerbated by the person behind me groaning waiting for her turn.
    I used to be able to get a breather getting my car filled up while they got the charge slip ready and washed my windows. Now I get to do all of that and again, rush so as to vacate the station for another customer.
    I used to call a company and have the pone answered by someone who could immediately redirect my call or answer my question. Now I spend between 5 and 90 minutes listening to an idiot computer to achieve the same thing. Again- expedient for the company but hard on the consumer.
    And if these systems fail there is no ability to complain to the company and blow off a little steam that way.
    Add this up and it eats into 10 or 15 hours a week that I used to use for more relaxing things. And that relaxation made me more efficient at work because I did not live with adrenalin poisoning.

  66. 67 Patrick
    April 14, 2009 at 18:39

    While there is something to be said for stopping from time to time, if you like what you are doing why stop? If you are lucky enough to have a job you like doing, there is nothing wrong with trying to get as much done as possible.

  67. 68 Matthew
    April 14, 2009 at 18:43

    With all the technology (technology is supposed to help us do work easier and faster) we have less leisure time to ourselves. So what is the use. I am a truck driver in the USA and have lots of time to think things over. Nowadays I ponder death more than life. I think the current way of living is highly stressful. I am fully wired – cellphone, CB radio, 2 GPS’s and internet in my truck. Internet for me is a must have. However, I do believe the technology is getting our of hand, and making direct human interaction a thing of the past. Why would 2 people sitting across a table communicate via text?

  68. 69 kancha
    April 14, 2009 at 18:45

    8 hrs – 8 hrs – hrs — > Would be good. But how many of them can? My friend, a researcher has to work even in the weekdays and when I call him for a basketball game, he says he can’t and he really means it. I work only part time and I manage time for a game. Although I make less money I am happy that I make the most of my life.

  69. 70 Scott [M]
    April 14, 2009 at 18:45

    Slow down Mozart. Slow down Einstein. You’re making too many masterpieces….

    Is slowing down just for average people with nothing to offer?

  70. April 14, 2009 at 18:46

    One of the things you should have is a mandatory two weeks break – just to get away from it all. Business wouldn’t like it but it would be even better if the governments mandated that there should be a long weekend each month as well.

  71. 72 Mark Sargent
    April 14, 2009 at 18:48

    The simple fact is that the world’s population is much higher than it used to be and so they are more people competing for the same jobs – all trying to support themselves and their familes. There is enormous competition in the job market in every sector of the economy so you don’t have a choice if you want to survive – you have to work harder, longer and get everything done quicker!

    If you snooze you loose!

  72. 73 Matthew
    April 14, 2009 at 18:50

    Include in the technology lineup satellite radio. Cell phone, CB radio, 2 GPS’s, satellite radio, mobile internet

  73. 74 Evan (Oregon)
    April 14, 2009 at 18:51

    I ride a bike instead of driving. If I don’t ride, I am more likely to walk than drive. I avoid fast food. Sometimes I am so busy that I have to drive or eat quickly, but I organize my life so that this happens rarely. A hurried life is not a good life. What good is all that money if your life is so hurried you even rush your vacations?

    I know plenty of people who buy themselves into their lifestyle. Mortgages, car loans, consumer debt…they have no choice but to work overtime simply to survive. How much of that junk do you really need? I’d rather have more spare time than a big screen TV any day. In any economy, I’d gladly take more vacation time instead of a pay raise.

  74. 75 Tom D Ford
    April 14, 2009 at 18:51

    I have started to think that what is missing in all of the electronic connectivity is the the emotional connection of face to face conversations.

    A lot more goes on than just words when you are face to face with a person, body language and the facial muscles expressing emotions and I suspect that when we miss those other parts of human connection we lose a lot of important information that really connects us to other humans.

    What brought that home to me was watching silent movies on TCM, the actors get their message across with only body language and facial expressions and with only a very few words on screen they tell their story. You have to concentrate on the actors to get the story you can’t look away and just listen to spoken words.

    I think it was George Soros who said he liked to “go belly to belly”, (face to face) with business managers when talking with them about how their company is doing in order to see if he wanted to buy their stocks.

    People can lie with electronic words but it is far harder to lie with body language and facial expressions.

  75. April 14, 2009 at 18:52

    It is impossible to get ahead in your job by working 9 to 5, but if you love what you do and want to go further why slow down? It often just comes down to personality, some people can just do cope with their environment better than others.

  76. 77 Matthew
    April 14, 2009 at 18:54

    I envy your life, If one cannot live life then why use up the oxygen? Life is for living. Is endless work a way to live life?

  77. April 14, 2009 at 18:57

    i live in new york and i am 23 years old i feel like i am 40. alot of places here are opened 24 hrs and are opened late but the only effect it has is this constant pressure of hurry up and get it done there arent enough hours in the day. i would love to slow down i am actually thinking of moving to france because i all i do is work and i feel like my life is slowly slipping away from me.

  78. 79 Gimia in Pittsburgh, PA
    April 14, 2009 at 18:57

    The perfect option for the age we live in is:
    “festina lente” – make haste slowly!!!

  79. 80 Ryan T
    April 14, 2009 at 18:58

    If a previous poster is so above average that he needs to spend every waking hour contributing to society, at the expense of other aspects of life, that’s fine. But does that really mean the more average person has nothing to offer in an efficient 6-8 hour day?

  80. 81 Philip
    April 14, 2009 at 18:58

    It’s not just technology. It’s obsessing about other people’s expectations.

  81. April 14, 2009 at 19:03

    on the subject of the traffic thing, if you’re driving slow then please get out of my way. If you want to drive slow, please do that but stick to the left side of the road and let me pass. I get really irritated when ppl drive at like 30 kmpl and right in the middle of the road and don’t move aside and let me pass through. My mantra while driving is “don’t be a nuisance for anyone else. Take your space and don’t occupy everyone else’s. Plus another big problem here is public transports driving near the right of the road and then the conductors sticking of of the doors letting noone pass. as a result a four lane road becomes a two lane road. And they stop every time they spy a potential passenger. I think if everyone sticks to their lanes, try to occupy as little space as possible and stop where they are meant to and not at other places, traffic problems here would be nearly half solved. I think this philosophy would also hold true to every other thing of life.

  82. 83 kancha
    April 14, 2009 at 19:03

    People mistake it. Using DSL, twittering, facebook… doesn’t mean you are living a fast life! You are actually enjoying, relaxing, doing what you love to do just like sleeping in the beach. Thats not a problem.

    Imagine you were working at McDonalds, driving a public bus, working in a factory and so many others in which you hardly get a minute of rest while you are working. Being slow only one moment slows down your entire work and the huge problem that it cuses. This should be the perspective. These people’s lives are affected.

  83. 84 Aracely Hernandez Urbina
    April 14, 2009 at 19:06

    Well, I’d like to say that every speaker made a very good point on the topic, but
    my question is “What exactly do you want more free time for? and
    what do we mean when whe say “enjoy life more”?
    I have seen many people enjoy more working than anything else, but also I have seen some others who don’t know what to do with their free time.
    What’s the key to find the balance everyone looks for?

  84. 85 Kelsey
    April 14, 2009 at 19:17

    Time is such an elastic force – when you have received very bad news, for example, it may seem impossible to imagine that only a short time ago you were happy. When you have only an hour for running a quick errand it flies by in an instant, but when you have to wait an hour for your order at dinner you are horrified by the waste of your time. This is how we can view time in an international context also, so relative and subjective, all the way from the down to the minute exactness in Germany or Switzerland to the today or tomorrow flexibility of Ghana or Barbados. We find our own pace in any society, but the important thing is to remember that we control that pace – if you feel you are not keeping up than you are trying to do too much in a given day. If you feel you have long, empty, unpleasant hours to fill you do not have enough social interaction or direction for your focus. While the reference to ‘Africa time’ was cited, I have heard the same sentiment expressed as ‘Thai time’, ‘Southern time’ (US), etc. I think it has come to denote a worldwide phenomenon of the laid back attitude that accompanies places that do not place all of their emphasis on the amount of tasks accomplished in a day (though in many countries it may be for lack of commercial opportunity).

  85. 86 Bea
    April 14, 2009 at 19:22

    As we overextend themselves, fail to delegate or take the time to mentor others, we are just being self-aggrandising, seeking to maximize our job security and imposing our arbitrary quality standards as the golden rule. We then raise our expectations for personal compensation, and curtail more equitable distribution of jobs and livelihood.

  86. 87 Anna
    April 14, 2009 at 19:44

    We absolutely need to slow down!

    With MTV and Twitter pace it is easy to burn out fast by doing nothing productive! On top of that, we are always on a go – mobile and accessible 24/7. Everything is a rush, free time feels as another ‘thing-to-do”, and is worsened by trying to accommodate each friend through their method of communication (Facebook, AIM, ICQ…).

    Wouldn’t it be nice to just enjoy simple moments instead of chasing after nothing crucial and wasting time for staying on top?

  87. 88 kancha
    April 14, 2009 at 19:57

    @ Aracely Hernandez Urbina
    Here is my view

    One point of discussion was the pace of life and the presurre that has been built on us. I am sure an astronomer would love to do his work. But not anymore if he had a huge work load against time. Absolutely not if his work didn’t let him spend time with his family, have enough sleep, work with a peaceful mind etc. These sorts of situation would lead him to several health problem subsequently over time.

    I thik the balance for everyone would be to do what one enjoys doing but without any sort of external pressure which one can’t digest.

  88. 89 George M.
    April 14, 2009 at 21:22

    Hi i’m from Alberta Canada and for the past 7 years there has been this incredible pace set here in this province. I think in the light of what is happening in the globle markets and soooo many people faceing layoffs or termanitation . that a slow down or a reduced work week would be nice like a 4 day work week or something like that. I’ve just returned home from northern Canada and am feeling uneasy, trying to slow down, like there is something more i should be doing. I think it will be hard for people to slow down until something affects them personaly that getts them to stop for a minute and think about the way they have been working and why, for what ?

  89. 90 Luci Smith
    April 14, 2009 at 22:50

    Journalists and politicians are the categories of people who need to slow down the most and take time to think. I think that bankers have already discovered this!

  90. April 15, 2009 at 01:24

    We not only need to slow down we very much need to have a long rest untill things get better all round.

  91. April 15, 2009 at 02:05

    Yes. We all need to slow down. Life is too fast!

  92. 93 Dennis Junior
    April 15, 2009 at 04:11

    On air: Do we all need to slow down?

    Yes….We all need to slow down.

    ~Dennis Junior~

  93. 94 viola
    April 15, 2009 at 06:07

    Speed is equated with intelligence–fast speech, fast thinking, fast work. To describe an unintelligent person, we say, “He’s a little slow.” So everyone strives for speed to avoid that dreaded image. Think of the times people from the southern American states or hillbillies from anyplace are made fun of because they drawl when they talk and walk slow.

    Think of how many times you’ve read about how successful people don’t sleep very much. The implication is that you can keep going when the wimps have to stop and sleep.

    Think about all the detective stories where the detective solves the case by keeping at it well past the time an ordinary person has to rest.

    Until that equation (speed=intelligence) is exposed and challenged, no one dares to slow down no matter how sick it makes them. People used to strive to be good, now they strive to be smart or at least appear smart by talking, moving, and living fast.

  94. 95 Dinesh
    April 15, 2009 at 08:09

    This is just the tip of the ice berg and we are already thinking of slowing down??????
    The worst is still to come and it cannot be stopped as innovation is the dirty cry of today. The basic survival of human race is to keep teasing itself with growing technology. This cannot be stopped and this is the start of the end of civilised human minds. We will see a similar high technology development like internet in next 5-10 years. May be we are behind our competitive aliens residing in other planets which we only can think of by hearing UFO & X file stories. We have a lot to catch-up with our alien competitors (if any) – there is no question of slowing down.

  95. 96 Asha
    April 15, 2009 at 08:38

    Why does slowing down or speeding up have to mean that whichever one we opt must dominate all aspects of our life? Wouldn’t it be more useful to prioritise and act accordingly? For instance, if the time one spends with family is to be quality time then it wouldnt help to speed it up and get it over with. On the other hand, at work, it would more useful if people came prepared with all required details to speed up the meeting, get -to-the-point, discuss agenda, finish it and then move on to other things that need to be done before deadlines.

  96. April 15, 2009 at 09:30

    there is this whatever..GCSE or GSE..that is an education system for some other ordinary guys who are not part of us here in africa in particular.they are the ones who need to slow down and be at a pace like our systems back here.with such speeds,theres nothing smart that anyone acquires,only unfairness.


  97. 98 jassie
    April 15, 2009 at 10:24

    HI everyone!
    In my opinion, we should take this finacial economy in two sides , on the first hand, it is a challenge to both of us , maybe because there are something wrong we did before , everyong has its own way to develop itself,we should respect the nature theory and discipline , so when we decide to do something we should make a deep consideration . on the other hand ,we must change our way to our home-the planet , you know we only have one earth to live , the unique one, so learn to cherish and porotect it , not damage
    then we won’t pnished by our earth.
    thank you

  98. 99 muhammad abdul
    April 15, 2009 at 11:58

    If we think that we are already slow then how can we desire to be slow down more.I think stress does not relate to the fast pace, it actually relates to the mntality. There are a lot of examples of those persons who really want to work at a higher pace as they cant concentrate at a slow level because they think fast and if they have to think at slow pace they get stress. we normally go to parks for running not to only walk just to make ourselves fit. The concept actually varies with person to person. This world will never be annihitaed by the creation og God untill He wants it Himself. And there is a lot to discover still in this world so think fast without being stressed coz if someone claims to have early death due to fast movement, he should know that people were also having deaths when they travel on slow moving animals.

  99. 100 Donkey fan
    April 15, 2009 at 12:04

    There is a wonderful book I just read about slowing down. It is called “The Wisdom of Donkey’s: Finding Tranquility in a Chaotic World”. It makes more sense about this issue than anything else I have ever read.

  100. April 15, 2009 at 17:04

    Im not really sure if we need to ‘slow down’ our lives as such – just parts of them. I think we need to ‘work smarter’ (to coin a rather annoying phrase) and leave ourselves with more leisure time – im desperate to ‘speed up’ and increase my golfing and tennis activities.

  101. 102 Views from above.
    April 15, 2009 at 17:13

    Go slow and you will get back your glow and follow the flow otherwise you go below 6ft below.

  102. April 20, 2009 at 19:12

    Hi WHYSers!

    Finally, I have been able to log on to this page! LOL! I was initially asked to be a guest for this discussion, however, that did not quite go according to plan. LOL! Still, I feel that there is a need, without question to pace oneself in life. There can be no doubting that. That would mean that less than slowing down, per se, there is a real need for balance and moderation. All people whether those in very developed, industrialised societies or those outside of them need to be aware of the need for this kind of thing. In some cases, it may mean that we need to go a little faster, than we usually do. Or, in others it may be that we need to slow down. When all is said and done, balance, moderation and pacing are good to have in one’s arsenal when we negotiate this complex business called life!

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