Season 01:
Slow Thoughts on Digital Communication

Community's Letter


from: @manspeterson

Dear @community,

For the past couple of months I've been thinking a lot about how we communicate online. And how this has evolved over time. I don't think evolved is the right word, it makes it sound like it's only been for the better, but things certainly have changed.

I feel like society, since the turn of the millennium, has been busy compressing time and forgotten to contemplate the consequences. Communication used to feel personal, be paced, and have a durational quality to it.

Now every flicker of a thought is pushed to millions of pockets, before they can even be pronounced. It has undoubtedly made the world a smaller place, but I can't help but wonder what's been lost along the way?

Don't get me wrong, I love social media. Twitter is still intriguing at times and watching generation Z on TikTok is undoubtedly mesmerizing. But more often than not, social media's slot-machine-like design leaves me feeling overwhelmed, sad, and distracted.

When I grew up, going online was an activity out of itself. Every click took ages to load but, damn, was it exciting. Do you still feel excitement communicating online?

I miss that feeling. Things were bumpy and personalised. And fun. Now they are... smoooth.

What happened to customizability? The personal website? Webrings? IRC? When did the newsletter start turning up in the junk folder? And how will we keep in touch with each other tomorrow? In a decade? In space?

I'd love to hear your story. Your take on the state of digital communication today. I can't wait to hear your thoughts.

Sincerely yours,
@manspeterson

An Introduction to
Slow Thoughts Network

slo-th.network is an ongoing experiment that tries to bring back the dimension of time to communication. A slow-paced social network focused on reflection and expressed through letters. An oasis in the attention economy, if you like. It's not meant to replace fast social media, or your email inbox, but rather to give you a just break.

Most distinctively, the slo-th.network delivers new letters only once a day. No pull-to-refresh here. And unlike most social media, there is no news feed to be found. No hierarchies, algorithms, search and sort options, or even an overview. Just one letter at a time, to pause and reflect upon.

When ready, you are invited to reply with your own thoughts or read another letter. But, to further optimise the conditions for reflection, letters can only be written with Wi-Fi turned off.

As you will find, navigation between letters is, contrary to the norm, random. This might feel disorienting at first but this is for your own good; to foster serendipity and occasionally have you revisit, and reevaluate, old thoughts. But the randomness also implies that every response letter should be able to stand on its own. Therefore it's suggested to exercise your paraphrasing skills.

What's being discussed is also defined by time, or as we say; a season. Instead of relying on hashtags, the community corresponds on one particular topic at a time, to eventually shifts its focus over to another. We feel like this makes it easier for us all to stay in tune with each other.

As we are a community, every mailbox is open for anyone to slide into. Interventions and hijacking of correspondence are also highly encouraged. But, to circumvent the noisyness that often comes with social media every user receives only seven stamps a week – so, you'd better collect your thoughts mindfully.

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You've been reflecting a lot today. Good job!
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If this is your first visit, I'd highly recommend
you to read the introduction before entering.

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Slow Thoughts Network should be
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