SLOWLY Return to Meaningful Discourse

In the age of instant access, limited patience and diminishing attention spans, “social” exchanges are commonly reduced to that of few words at a time. The likes of Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and Line have enabled us to mindlessly chat away with each other at the press of a button, but what does that do to the quality and meaning of the content therein? How much thought goes into an emoji? Gone are the days when a thoughtful letter rich in content was the regular communicative method of choice for most people. Even if you have a pen pal or long distance acquaintance, an email can reach them in seconds. How much more time & effort would you make if it didn’t reach them for days, and took a week to get a response?

SLOWLY is a digital platform for a traditional pen pal experience.

Designed for people in search of meaningful conversations in the era of instant messaging, their aim is “to connect people around the world at a slower but better pace – one letter at a time.”

Once signed up, members create a profile and SLOWLY then matches people based on languages and common interests. However the real hook, and key focus of the platform is that the time taken for messages to be exchanged is based on the distance between users.

The farther away your pen friend lives, the longer it will take. Why rush through replies? Make your letter be worth the wait!


I’m absolutely fascinated at this opportunity for considered, wealthier communication at the rate of conventional post, all wrapped neatly within the parameters of a social app. Coupled with the fun of anticipation, of awaiting a new reply rather than it being sent at a mere click, and you have a very engaging premise. But its not just the gimmick aspect that draws me to this.

Whilst either side of the Atlantic seems increasingly determined to isolate itself from its neighbours, either erecting barriers physical and emotional, or being so willing to potentially sink on their own they’d rather jump out of the boat, a platform such as SLOWLY not only provides a means to meet and connect with new people across the globe, but also a chance to learn from and appreciate each others values, customs and daily ways of life. Now more than ever, we should be building bridges, not walls.

I’m clearly not the only one to see the potential benefits. SLOWLY won Google Play’s Best of 2018: Best Hidden Gem.

SLOWLY is available to download on both Android and iOS.