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We are a society of convenience and velocity. It seems like everything moves at "breakneck" speed. We no longer take our time to write letters, relax by conversing face-to-face, listen without wanting to talk over people, and enjoy the mellow tones of ballads. 

Yes, I know that some people still do those things. But...as a culture we've gravitated away from the mellow and moved into the hectic. Responses have to be immediate. Once I thought the fax was crunching our thought time. The words, "Just fax it to me within the hour," put a whole new spin on reaction time. Now - "E-mail it to me and send the attachment as a pdf," has shortened our response time even more.

No wonder we're a society of stress. I think slowing down would help us a lot. Yea...that may sound like I'm pining about times gone by, and perhaps I am. But, I really think it's much more than that. It wouldn't matter if our past was like our culture is now. It's more about seeing people who need to relax and often don't seem to know how, when or where. Even our exercises have become video games. Do people just go out and play "pick-up" games at the playground or ball field, or...sit around with their families and have intelligent discussions, or, perhaps have friends over to sit, have refreshments and talk - without it being planned days or weeks in advance?

Whenever I ask my students about stress, they often relate stories that play into the needless (in my opinion) way we've set our priorities. The Europeans take two hour lunches, Americans, all too often, eat at our desks and work at the same time. Are we losing our quality of life? And...how can we learn that life has more value than "work" and insane schedules? Why not slow down, look at the beauty of nature, enjoy the love of family and friends, and - when the phone rings or the e-mail or text pings, answer and/or send back a message and say..."I'm doing something very important for myself right now, I'm relaxing and enjoying being mellow."

I think it's time we realize how much of our "progress" might be moving our appreciation of life backwards. Perhaps we should take a new path to move ourselves and our society forward. It may even make us a bit more physically, emotionally, and psychologically healthier too.

Sam
2/23/2012 06:08:22 am

I agree that people need to slow down and enjoy the things around them. What's the point of making a ton of money if you have no one to enjoy it with? Even on an intellectual scale; what's the point of reading books if you can't share ideas with anyone? Our american culture doesn't teach us to rely on one another but it teaches us to rely on a system where success will equal a good life. I like the "take a step back to move forward" approach.

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alexis
2/28/2012 11:41:57 am

I really like what was said. I feel that society has created a environment that makes individuals very antisocial and less interacting with each other.

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Sharnic
2/23/2012 09:42:16 am

I can agree with this. I know myself because of they way technology is I rarely talk to anyone on the phone it always through a text, or social media websites. This has taken the joy out having a normal conversation with someone.There's just no joy in most things people do because everything is moving at a stead fast pace.

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Sarah
2/25/2012 12:07:05 am

This is definitely a problem. Everyone at my office either packs a lunch or runs out and grabs something quick and rushes back to work to eat it. Policy states, that if we are eating lunch in our offices we should have to door closed so we can relax during that hour but nobody does that. I think if our society relaxes for a minute we feel like we aren't living up to our full potential. Unfortunately, this is only reenforced by the increasing expectations we have for ourselves and others. We need to slow down. While no society is perfect, other cultures that focus more on family and relaxation seem to have it all over our culture. They seem to be much happier, healthier, and live longer. Appreciating the little things gives you a much greater appreciation for all things in general.

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Brittany K.
2/28/2012 01:16:12 pm

When times were slower, people knew the names of all their coworkers, cars were mainly produced in the U.S., and consumer purchases lasted years if not decades before failing or being outdated rather than months or even weeks.

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Dan
2/28/2012 01:54:31 pm

Excellent observations from all of you. Thanks so much for your thoughts!

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Chuck
3/5/2012 04:59:52 am

I feel that as a whole our society has mainly lost sight of two things, value and personal responsibility. Value in that we want, and some people seem to think they need, convenience and optimum affordability in all products/services. This has led lower quality goods being made, and in the long run we pay more because those goods don't last.

In terms of responsibility, people today talk about how Facebook and twitter have lessened personal connection. They talk about how they can just text rather than make a phone call. They talk about how they don't get together with people anymore, and that society forces this issue. However, none of them act. I for one don't have a Facebook or twitter, none of my friends do, and we all keep in great contact. Getting rid of social media was one of the best decisions I have made. You may not be able to change the world, but you can change your world.

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Dan
3/5/2012 05:42:58 am

Ah...good observations Chuck! While I have my social media outlets, I also prefer the phone and in-person conversations to tweets and facebook posts. However, they (especially facebook) have brought me back in touch with old friends and collegues. Both have then led to other forms of communication, which have enriched our old friendships.

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