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"in Praise of a Snail's Pace" - Diagnstic Essay

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"In Praise of a Snail's Pace": Summary, Analysis, Response

"In Praise of a Snail's Pace," by Ellen Goodman, begins with the author's trip to an island post office in order to mail a handwritten condolence letter to a friend (paragraph one). This action provides the author's basis for her case, that we as a society need to unplug from the modern-day stream of constant and abbreviated communication and connection that we have become immersed in. Ms. Goodman says that instead, we should slow down and pay more attention to the people, places, and things that are right in front of us, and that we should take the time to communicate with each other in more personal and less modern ways.

Unplugging from a fast-paced, impersonal world is not as difficult as we children of the information age might believe. Ms. Goodman states several ways to do so, as well as several reasons to support slowing down and focusing on one person, place, or thing at a time. The example that she opens with is handwriting a condolence letter and "snail-mailing" it to her bereaved friend (paragraph one). The author believes that an "e-condolence" would rob the communication of its sentiment, and that sending her sympathies online is akin to "serving Thanksgiving at a fast-food restaurant" (paragraph three). A second way to slow down and focus attention, according to the author, is to turn off cell phones and other communication devices when dealing with people in person. Ellen Goodman finds support for this sentiment from Linda Stone, a former Microsoft techie, who states, "Full attention will be the aphrodisiac of the future" (paragraph ten). A third and final point puts forth the idea that "no technology can rush the growth of the leeks in the garden," and similarly, "all the speed in the internet cannot hurry the healing of a friend's loss" (paragraph 15); certain processes deserve time and attention that the jumped-up pace and hyper-connectivity of the internet can never, and will never, provide.

All in all, I personally agree with Ellen Goodman's assessment of our world's almost neurotic desire to stay connected at rapid-fire speed to as many people and things as possible. My own personal experiences with my daughter have shown me that full personal attention to others is integral to



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