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W hat does it take to survive a pandemic? Waiting, mostly, and if nothing kills you, then you make it out alive. And so these days, I let time happen to me. Ever since I lost my job at a fashion magazine furloughed indefinitely I have spent the quarantine in Berlin measuring away the days by the box of sunlight that moves across my unkept bedsheets. Sobriety grinds. Sometimes, I think about God.

Jean Meyer, CEO of Once, says making good matches is a concern, obviously, but he's more focused on cutting down absentminded app time.

You can put percent into another task that's not swiping on ten-thousand profiles. What Meyer sees as the big issue driving up everybody's swipe rate is the idea that there's always something or, in this case, someone better out there.

Tired of Swiping Right, Some Singles Try Slow Dating Younger daters exhausted by larger apps like Tinder have found ways to meet possible partners by considering fewer of them. By.

The mentality that you should always be looking for a better job, a better apartment, a better going-out top-whatever-has seeped into the dating mentality. The League, which only serves users a few matches per day, operates on a similar premise as Once.

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And when Hinge redesigned to eliminate swiping and force people to slow down a bit, users grew by more than percent, according to the Wall Street Journal. Once takes the slow dating premise Hinge decided to focus on to the absolute extreme, and unlike The League, it doesn't come with an application process or waiting list.

What reading slowly taught me about writing - Jacqueline Woodson

You just download, and then wait. If you're a dating app developer, the slow dating approach feels almost counterintuitive.

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Why encourage people to use your app less, when there are countless options out there to lure them away? Meyer hopes the thing that keeps people joining Once as seven million already have, according to the Wall Street Journal is the app's dedication to building the best matches possible.

Whether you download Once or employ slow dating in some other way, the laissez-faire approach could be the long-needed refresh your love life needs.

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Who better to trust with romance than the French? Follow Hannah on Twitter.

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Hollywood Belongs to Issa Rae Now. The continuity of relationships through reading is experienced when we borrow books from friends; when we read long stories to our kids until they fall asleep. Careful and slow reading, and deep attention, is a challenge for all of us. So the movement's not a particularly cohesive one - as Malcolm Jones wrote in a recent Newsweek article"there's no letterhead, no board of directors, and, horrors, no central website" - and nor is it a new idea: as early asthe first edition of Shakespeare's folio encouraged us to read the playwright "again and again"; inFriedrich Nietzsche described himself as a "teacher of slow reading"; and, back in the 20s and 30s, dons such as IA Richards popularised close textual analysis within academic circles.

Slow days, quiet healing: what trauma taught me about surviving a pandemic

But what's clear is that our era's technological diarrhoea is bringing more and more slow readers to the fore. Keith Thomas, the Oxford history professor, is one such reader. He doesn't see himself as part of a wider slow community, but has nevertheless recently written - in the London Review of Books - about his bewilderment at the hasty reading techniques in contemporary academia. And there's no serendipity - half the things I've found in my research have come when I've luckily stumbled across something I wasn't expecting.

Some academics vehemently disagree, however. One literature professor, Pierre Bayard, notoriously wrote a book about how readers can form valid opinions about texts they have only skimmed - or even not read at all.

Slow readers, obviously, are at loggerheads with Bayard. Seeley says that you might be able to engage "in a basic conversation if you have only read a book's summary, but for the kinds of reading I want my students to do, the words matter.

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The physical shape of sentences matter. Nicholas Carr's book elaborates further.

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As Carr writes, "the very existence of the attentive, critical reader provides the spur for the writer's work. It gives the author the confidence to explore new forms of expression, to blaze difficult and demanding paths of thought, to venture into uncharted and sometimes hazardous territory.

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What's more, Seeley argues, Bayard's literary bluffing merely obscures a bigger problem: the erosion of our powers of concentration, as highlighted by Carr's book.

Seeley notes that after a conversation with some of her students, she discovered that "most can't concentrate on reading a text for more than 30 seconds or a minute at a time. We're being trained away from slow reading by new technology. Seeley finds an unlikely ally in Henry Hitchings, who - as the author of the rather confusingly named How to Really Talk About Books You Haven't Read - could initially be mistaken as a follower of Bayard.

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My book was really a covert statement to the effect that reading matters. It's supposed to encourage would-be bluffers to go beyond mere bluffing, though it does this under the cover of arming them for literary combat. But Hitchings also feels that clear-cut distinctions between slow and fast reading are slightly idealistic.

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We all have several guises as readers. If I am reading - to pick an obvious example - James Joyce, slow reading feels appropriate.

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If I'm reading the instruction manual for a new washing machine, it doesn't. Hitchings does agree that the internet is part of the problem.

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What's to be done, then? All the slow readers I spoke to realise that total rejection of the web is extremely unrealistic, but many felt that temporary isolation from technology was the answer. Tracy Seeley's students, for example, have advocated turning their computer off for one day a week. But, given the pace at which most of us live, do we even have time? Garrard seems to think so: "I'm no luddite - I'm on my iPhone right now, having just checked my email - but I regularly carve out reading holidays in the middle of my week: four or five hours with the internet disconnected.

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Meanwhile, Jakob Nielsen - the internet guru behind some of the statistics at the beginning of this article - thinks the iPad might just be the answer: "It's pleasant and fun, and doesn't remind people of work.

Personally, I'm not sure I could ever go offline for long.

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Even while writing this article I was flicking constantly between sites, skimming too often, absorbing too little; internet reading has become too ingrained in my daily life for me to change. I read essays and articles not in hard copy but as s, and I'm more comfortable churning through lots of news features from several outlets than just a few from a single print source.

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