Week 3: Digital Story Critique Slowing Down

Guy Raz from NPR who hosts a weekly podcast called the TED radio hour crafted a beautiful podcast about slowing down. In our busy lives where success and achievement often comes hand in hand with business and lack of free time, Raz cafts a compelling argument for slowing down using many stories from different industries to illustrate the value of a quiet and slow life.

I’m about to be a father and I’m working a demanding full time job, I’m a part time student and also an avid runner. I find it harder and harder to find time to just be alone and breathe and reflect on everything that is happening to me. I think so many adults feel the way I do. That time is moving so fast and the our main accomplishment on any given day is putting out small fires and we are filled with anxiety about what is coming on the horizon. Work deadline, school deadline, family issues, and maintaining relationships fill our days with little time to appreciate the small and important things in life.

Guy Raz starts his story by interviewing a filmmaker who has created a new genre of film called Norwegian slow TV. It is merely the world unfolding in real time such as a video camera filming out of a train window for 7 hours or a fire burning for hours. The filmmakers were not sure how it would be received but over 1.3 million Norwegians watched the movie; that is over one quarter of the entire population of Norway. There means there is an appetite for slow thoughtful entertainment in a world of click bait and twitter.

Raz continues his story with an artist who creates installation art pieces that film people in very slow motion, so a 2 second interaction takes 30 seconds to unfold. In order to see the piece in its entirety you must be there for 20 minutes. The artist incentive was to slow down the audience and really make them think. He was concerned that far too many people go to art museums snap a selfie with a piece of art and move on. His art was intended to make people pause and really reflect on existence.

Guy Raz’s digital story spoke to me on many levels, most importantly his story reminded me to slow down and realize that the world around me is always going to hectic full of chaos and things out of my control, and it is up to all of us to make a choice on how we receive this world around us because we only have control over attitudes.