peanutbutterfly | 🇺🇸 United States

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Slowly is chatting with strangers done right.

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I’ve found that there aren’t many who enter chatrooms wanting to make a genuine connection with a human being like I would. The convenience of instant replies normalizes superficial, dispassionate, and dehumanizing communication. Before even saying “hello” or “how are you,” a stranger will ask for three things: Age, Sex, Location. What they want out of this interaction is clear—so where do you go when you want to actually talk to a stranger?

In the digital wasteland, Slowly encourages mindfulness when we “chat with strangers”, giving us the daunting task to write an entire letter to someone we don’t know. What do we say? How do we even begin to describe ourselves? What should we ask them? Writing the first letter is as much an exercise in self-reflection as it is a first step in a new correspondence.

There’s never any rush on Slowly. While we often feel annoyed or anxious when people take forever to reply to our texts, on Slowly, taking forever is the point. And while we often take offense when we’re left on read, on Slowly, I like to read my letters and let them simmer in my head before even beginning to form a reply. I’ve gotten many letters that start with “I’m sorry for my late reply,” and my response is always the same: I’ll be happy to read your letter no matter when I receive it.

Sending and receiving letters on Slowly is thrilling. You will become connected to people you never would have expected to meet, from places you may not even be able to point out on the map. When you’re matched with someone, take the opportunity to learn about their culture, their lifestyle, and most of all, them. Reading a stranger respond with eager excitement to my letter, relating their unique experiences back to me, telling me about their day, sharing their likes and dreams, sending me photos, all despite being so far away, is nothing short of a miracle to me. I’m able to make the genuine connections I love to make with this app. It’s a truly positive form of social media.

We tend to take for granted the internet’s capabilities for worldwide communication, but Slowly reminds us that our device’s ability to send a message to anywhere around the world is truly amazing. It also tells us to be mindful of the human miles and miles away, who will be reading your letter behind their funny little avatar, whose voice you will hear shine through in their digital letter. There’s no other app on the market quite like Slowly.

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