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Idol Chatter

I like blogging for Idol Chatter a lot, especially since it gives me great excuses to go to the movies and watch TV on a regular basis. But I wouldn’t exactly call the experience of posting about themes in pop culture and spirituality online a meditative practice.
But some people do.
In the article “Haste, Scorned: Blogging at a Snail’s Pace,” The New York Times’ Sharon Otterman reports about how certain bloggers are engaging online as a contemplative, spiritual practice:

“When Barbara Ganley wants to collect her thoughts, she walks in the Vermont countryside, wanders home and blogs about it….If her blog, bgblogging.wordpress.com, sounds slow and meandering, it is. But that’s the point. Ms. Ganley, 51, is part of a small, quirky movement called slow blogging.”

Ganley is not alone–in fact, there is a “Slow Blog Manifesto” about the trend:

“A Slow Blog Manifesto, written in 2006 by Todd Sieling, a technology consultant from Vancouver, British Columbia, laid out the movement’s tenets. “Slow Blogging is a rejection of immediacy,” he wrote. “It is an affirmation that not all things worth reading are written quickly.” (Nor, because of a lack of traffic, is Mr. Sieling writing this blog at all these days.) Ms. Ganley, who recently left her job as a writing instructor at Middlebury College, compares slow blogging to meditation. It’s “being quiet for a moment before you write,” she said, “and not having what you write be the first thing that comes out of your head.””


In our evermore fast paced online world, figuring out how to experience certain technological endeavors as spiritual practices makes total sense–in theory. In reality, though, I don’t buy it. I think the constant connectivity provided us by handheld devices like the iPhone and the Blackberry is eroding our ability to engage in such practices as meditation and contemplation. Wireless devices are the ultimate tools and toys for distraction. Slow or not, I can’t imagine the day that I emerge from posting with the thought: “Ahhh! I feel so refreshed after that online meditation!” But it’s nice that people will try…

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