Micro.blog

jean
jean

It’s Micro Monday. We do occasional roll calls so enthusiasts of a thing can raise their hands where others can see them. It’s a low tech way to find people to follow. Today’s topic: (s)low tech, inspired by Anna’s post. Reply to this post if you like your tech a bit less smart.

pgkr
pgkr

@jean 💡 sign me up! I severely limit what my phone can do at any given time using Freedom and it’s scheduled recurring blocks. It’s changed how I relate to online services and apps.

Munish
Munish

@jean haha. I am high tech, but happy to go low tech

fgtech
fgtech

@jean 🙋🏼‍♂️Life-long technophile here. I am still as enthusiastic as ever about tech tools, but have come to recognize they are just that: tools. I now pay more attention to what I’m building than the technology itself.

jabel
jabel

@jean Count me in! Record player, typewriter, experimentation with hand-bound books, looking for ways to align myself more with the natural world and live on a more human scale.

moonmehta
moonmehta

@jean Count me in on this, especially for (s)low social tech, which is what Micro.blog thankfully is compared to other noisy socials!

JMaxB
JMaxB

@jean Yay! For the new group: I liked this longish essay, "Why I wish I Didn't Have a Smartphone or Computer But Probably Won't Give Them Up".
It mentions an article, "Why I Am Not Going to Buy a Smartphone" that interested me, but there was no link. What's with that? Turns out it appeared in a journal that only exists in printed form (!!!). First I felt wronged, then I was happy. May subscribe to Local Culture (print only, as far as I can see).

miljko
miljko

@jean Low-tech enthusiast here, though not fully a practitioner. My most consistent habit has been Hobonichi Techo as a replacement for Day One, going on 7 years now. The other is almost completely replacing computer games with board/card games, even when playing solo.

ReaderJohn
ReaderJohn

@JMaxB Local Culture is a spinoff of Front Porch Republic.

Troydp
Troydp

@jean I'm a low tech enthusiast, but often stray now and then as we all do. I like having a forum to keep myself in check. I'm here to learn more.

jabel
jabel

@JMaxB I have a sketch for an essay "Why I am not going to buy an Alexa", in homage to Berry's essay. :)

terrygrier
terrygrier

@jean Count me in. I continue my journey down this path. Bullet Journal, index cards and flip phone in hand. :)

JMaxB
JMaxB

@jabel Someone could publish a good "Why I am not going to buy..." anthology, with Berry's essay kicking it off.

annahavron
annahavron

@jean Wow, thank you for the mention! Shameless self-promotion: I write about ways we can live slower in general at annahavron.com and I write about analog office supplies and analog methods of organizing and note-making at analogoffice.net. I'm interested in how tech affects access to information, and more broadly how tech affects the ways we organize and understand our selves, our relationships with others, and our relationships with our environments.

To put it more plainly: When I make a list in Dynalist it feels different from writing that list by hand on a piece of paper. I think that's interesting, and I wonder if that's true for other people; and if so, so what? Maybe it matters in weird and interesting ways whether we handwrite something, or put it in an app; or do a little of both.

toddgrotenhuis
toddgrotenhuis

@jean for some things. Perhaps my jam is "intentional tech".

ckcycling
ckcycling

@jean Cycling inside and outside… all the time.

ridwan
ridwan

@jean I'm in! 🙋‍♂️

patrickrhone
patrickrhone

@jean Everyone who knows me knows this is a "what we believe in" thing for me.

Related: Here I am in 2014 writing about The Not Too Smart Home.

pimoore
pimoore

@jean I love technology, but I also love analogue tools and always will. More than once I’ve considered getting a dedicated camera and either going back to a feature phone, or even ditching a cell phone entirely. I’m now also considering getting a turntable and collecting some vinyl, and am also going to get a piano and start learning it again.

There needs to be a slow side of life outside technology, and also some intentionality when you are using tech.

McKinstry
McKinstry

@jean This is a great thread already filled with some great ideas, inspiration, advice. Recently I’ve shifted to analog journaling from using digital journaling apps. Originally I was concerned that journaling by hand would slow me down but I’ve come to realize that journaling slower is not a bug it is a feature of writing by hand. Slowing down gives time to think and more thoroughly process. Bonus: Journaling by hand can involve using fountain pens.

channah
channah

@jean Yes! Leaving mainstream social media in 2020, ditching my "smart" phone for a wise phone this past summer (Light user here), and making more efforts to live intentionally, seasonally, and slowly are ways I connect here.

chadgmoore
chadgmoore

@jean I’m here for this, as they say. I gave up on automation tools recently for example. I was spending so much time tinkering and figuring it all out, when all I really needed was to copy and paste, lol.

meandering
meandering

@jean Low tech also means a nice tactile experience. I use a notebook for meetings as typing up later helps me organise my thoughts and follow up actions. Apart from one light I've changed smart lights back to normal at home. Board games not computer games, real books over digital.

Annie
Annie

@jean I LOVE ME SOME ANALOG SHIT

Annie
Annie

@pimoore "There needs to be a slow side of life outside technology, and also some intentionality when you are using tech."

100%

cygnoir
cygnoir

@jean Count me in the low tech crowd, especially analog notetaking and journaling.

ericgregorich
ericgregorich

@jean I love tech, both hardware and software, but find myself returning to paper when I feel overwhelmed. Then I return to tech when i get frustrated with paper. I suppose I need to find a healthy balance.

jessekelber
jessekelber

@jean Very much a fan of all things slow tech. Even more so now that I no longer work in IT and don't have to pretend anymore.

fabio
fabio

@jean yeeeees? Yes yes yes. I study computational statistics but at my lectures I take notes on a paper notepad with a fountain pen, I prefer to read paper books when it's an option, I still go to libraries to borrow and read, I ask real people for directions when lost, I play badly a completely analogue acoustic guitar, I prefer pen and paper roleplay games on a table over videogames 😀

fabio
fabio

@annahavron I came to read you after your micro monday podacst! I think that tech has been dead set on reducing friction in everything but possibly one of the reason analogue feels so different and possibly better is indeed the more friction required.

dwalbert
dwalbert

@jean I just saw this but will chime in late... I do my woodworking almost entirely with hand tools. They don't think for me. But I don't think of them as low or slow: they're really quite efficient if used skillfully, some of them use 21st-century engineered steel, and the last hand tool I bought was an entirely new invention to simplify an ancient task—so it isn't even necessarily about reducing "friction." And I'm hardly a technophobe; I'm a complete nerd about certain kinds of technology. I think the key difference between my workshop and this laptop is that hand tools extend my body, while digital tools (at least seek to) replace my body. (And, in the case of "smart" tools, my mind as well.) If "embodied technology" didn't sound like it might be a robot, I would use that term. Whatever I ought to call it, that's my preference.

ReaderJohn
ReaderJohn

@dwalbert Sometimes, I think I live entirely in my head except for (1) two weekly workouts with a trainer and (2) three+ weekly opportunities for singing. Don't give up hand skills. And if, like me, you need a rationale, see Matthew Crawford, The World Beyond Your Head.

annahavron
annahavron

@fabio Good point. I also think there is something about how it engages both body and mind as @dwalbert touches on. And thanks for reading!

dwalbert
dwalbert

@annahavron You may know this, but there has been some research about student notetaking that found that taking notes by hand helps retention and learning more than taking them on a keyboard. One explanation is that you can't handwrite as much as you can type, so you have to actively filter; another is that the bodily work runs the information through different pathways in the brain. Maybe both?

annahavron
annahavron

@dwalbert Agreed, I think it's both. I notice that if I handwrite something, I tend to remember it better than if I type or dictate it. n=1 me-search, but oh well.

SimonWoods
SimonWoods

@jean 🙋‍♂️ Recent beginner to the practise of journalling here. Find myself increasingly interested in relying less on digital tools for tasks that are well accomplished with the analogue alternative. Sometimes that includes new, even expensive products that are a hybrid, for example the Astrohaus Freewrite machines.

SimonWoods
SimonWoods

@annahavron @dwalbert I see the idea that physical note-taking helps better with retention being thrown around quite a lot lately (I'm probably just more sensitive to noticing it) and look forward to getting into the research behind it.

warner
warner

@jean (coming in suitably slow on my weekly M.b comment schedule...)

This is one of my fave online threads.
When I did my master's research on Smartphone dependence in 2018, i can't say it got a lotta love from the CS dept.
Half-decade later heartening to see many techies here thinking about healthier design choices both for themselves and what they create.

Hmu if you wanna join me doing a full week off smartphone Jan 2nd. It's worked wonders for me over the past 55 months!

annahavron
annahavron

@SimonWoods Off the top of my head: Annie Murphy Paul's recent book The Extended Mind, covers some of this research. James Pennebaker's earlier research on expressive writing is also interesting. For more general paper vs tech considerations, an older book, The Myth of the Paperless Office is also good. They set social scientists loose among the cubicles to figure out why paper use was still so common in the business world. I wonder if that's still the case?

palousegeo
palousegeo

@jean Sometimes I feel like I am operating on both extremes of the technology spectrum. I enjoy reading about and tinkering with website code. However, I also live in a rural setting with plenty of manual tasks that fill my day.