Cover image for The winter of our disconnect : how three totally wired teenagers (and a mother who slept with her iPhone) pulled the plug on their technology and lived to tell the tale
Title:
The winter of our disconnect : how three totally wired teenagers (and a mother who slept with her iPhone) pulled the plug on their technology and lived to tell the tale
Author:
Maushart, Susan, 1958-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2011.

©2010
Physical Description:
278 pages ; 21 cm
Summary:
The author embarked with her three teenagers on a six-month screen blackout (no cellphones, iPods, PCs, laptops, game stations, or television) to discover if the technology intended to stimulate and keep us virtually more connected was, as she suspected, making us actually more disconnected and distracted.
General Note:
Originally published: Australia, Bantam Australia, 2010.
Language:
English
Contents:
Who we are, and why we pressed "pause" -- Power trip : the darkness descends -- Boredom for beginners -- My iPhone/myself : notes from a digital fugitive -- The sound of one hand doing homework -- Loss of Facebook : friending the old-fashioned way -- Eat, play, sleep -- The return of the digital native.
ISBN:
9781585428557
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Item Holds
Searching...
HM851 .M388 2010 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
HM851 .M388 2010 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Searching...
Searching...
HM851 .M388 2010 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

The wise and hilarious story of a family who discovered that having fewer tools to communicate with led them to actually communicate more.

When Susan Maushart first announced her intention to pull the plug on her family's entire armory of electronic weaponry for six months-from the itsy-bitsiest iPod Shuffle to her son's seriously souped-up gaming PC-her three kids didn't blink an eye. Says Maushart: "Looking back, I can understand why. They didn't hear me."

For any parent who's ever IM-ed their child to the dinner table, this account of one family's self-imposed exile from the Information Age will leave you LOLing with recognition. But it will also make you think.

The Winter of Our Disconnect challenges readers to examine the toll that technology is taking on their own family connections, and to create a media ecology that instead encourages kids-and parents-to thrive. Indeed, as a self-confessed single mom who "slept with her iPhone," Maushart knew her family's exile from Cyburbia wasn't going to be any easier for her than for her three teenagers, ages fourteen, fifteen, and eighteen. Yet they all soon discovered that the rewards of becoming "unplugged" were more rich and varied than any cyber reality could ever be.


Author Notes

Susan Maushart has a Ph.D. in media ecology from New York University. Her book The Mask of Motherhood was hailed by the London Times as a feminist classic. She lives on the North Fork of Long Island, New York.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Australian journalist and single parent Maushart reports on her family's decision to take a figurative six-month voyage into an unplugged life easier said than done when your family consists of three teenagers! No wonder she describes the voyage as The Caine Mutiny, with her playing Captain Queeg. As it happens, the voyage is relatively storm free, though there are some squalls at the beginning. Maushart nearly goes through withdrawal after turning off her iPhone and finds that her work takes twice as long without a computer. In a way, the kids are more adaptable (perhaps because their mother offers them various bribes). They quickly learn how to do homework without access to Wikipedia and discover such joys as playing the saxophone and having sing-alongs. Interspersed with the family's experience is a great deal of timely information about the impact of electronic technology on Generation M (8- to 18-year-olds), and not all of it is pretty. Nevertheless, the entire family is relieved when the experiment is over but delighted to discover that it has introduced them to 'life itself.'--Cart, Michael Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Maushart (The Mask of Motherhood) embarked with her three teenagers on a six-month screen blackout (no cellphones, iPods, PCs, laptops, game stations, or television) to discover if the technology intended to stimulate and keep us virtually more connected was, as she suspected, making us actually more disconnected and distracted. Ironically, Maushart may have gone screen-dark, but her writing remains riddled with "textspeak"-"LOLs," "WTFs," emoticons-and exhausting chipperness and self-conscious "hipness," which all distract from an otherwise intelligent and eloquent core text. Funny and poignant precisely when it is not trying to be, this book vacillates between diary entries (written longhand) and deeply researched reportage, which brings needed balance to the subject of new media, often touted as either the answer to all of our problems or the accelerant of societal doom. What Maushart's experiment uncovers is a commonsense conclusion: in a world of proliferating demands on our attention, exercising the on/off switch is the ultimate practice in understanding connection. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
1 Who We Are, and Why We Pressed ôPauseöp. 9
2 Power Trip: The Darkness Descendsp. 33
3 Boredom for Beginnersp. 63
4 My iPhone/Myself: Notes from a Digital Fugitivep. 101
5 The Sound of One Hand Doing Homeworkp. 141
6 Loss of Facebook: Friending the Old-Fashioned Wayp. 181
7 Eat, Play, Sleepp. 215
8 The Return of the Digital Nativep. 249
Afterwordp. 267
Notesp. 269
Recommended Readingp. 277