Slow Tech with Janell Burley Hoffman

Slow Tech with Janell Burley Hoffman - The Slow Home Podcast

One of the biggest tensions for me in slowing down is how to live mindfully with technology. Part of me feels I need to be anti-tech in order to do slow and simple “right”, but completely eschewing modern tech simply doesn’t appeal.

And the reality is that I wouldn’t have a job without modern technology. I wouldn’t have met some of my best friends. I wouldn’t have connected with so many of you, or heard the incredible stories you share, or be able to watch The Walking Dead. There wouldn’t be medical breakthroughs and sustainable energy and the ability to travel the globe. Modern tech has its issues, no doubt, but giving it up seems… extreme. And not realistic. And not fun.

In today’s episode I talk with Janell Burley Hoffman, an author, a technology coach and the creator of the Slow Tech Movement, and she drops some wisdom on me in how to shift from living mindlessly and in constant contact with technology, to living mindfully alongside technology.

We talk about establishing tech boundaries both for ourselves and our family, as well as creating time and space for play, nature, real-world connections and conversations and the mundaneness of life. Janell also has really practical insights into how to establish your family’s iRules and why these are just as (if not more) important for the adults in your home.

This episode is packed with practical advice, inspiration and a good dose of “do what’s right for you”, that will help you figure out the best approach to tech for you and your family.



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6 Responses to Slow Tech with Janell Burley Hoffman

  1. This is a tough one. I enjoyed the discussion and I need and want to set some healthier practices for myself. I obsessively check social media (even when on the treadmill!) and my brain is far more scattered than a few years ago (for instance, I have a harder time reading for long stretches whereas I could do so for hours at a time before). But I have also started a new business in the past year and do want and need to be online a lot for work. Still, I need to set some boundaries for myself especially for writing time (not social media during these time blocks) and exercising (do I really need to check Instagram while exercising?!). At least when I go for walks with my husband I now leave my cell at home (he takes his in case the kids need us but he has no issues with not checking it). One other point – you talked about getting your kiddos outside after school. Certainly this is how I grew up, with tons of outdoor and unscheduled time. My youngest is quite a bit younger than her older siblings and we have no friends in the neighborhood. Heading outside to play all by yourself is not exactly enticing and she mostly stays indoors drawing or reading. I grew up with many siblings and other kids in the neighborhood and feel bad that she does not have this.

  2. I think technology will become more and more crucial for surviving in today’s fast-paced world. I’ve written an article on the 5 most impactful technologies that could help us reduce CO2 emissions on a grand scale.
    Living a slow-paced life might become even harder, all I can advise is to have an hour or two a day without technology, so you can let your mind rest.

  3. Here is something we to with my colleagues- have everyone set their phones in the middle of the table at the start of a meal. The first person to reach for their phone has to pay for everyone else. (You may need to adapt that consequence for young people).