“Girl Scout Circle of Friends” Courtesy Woodleywonderworks
Memorial Day seems a fitting time to launch We Disconnect, a blog about the ways many of us are reclaiming our connections to life beyond digital communication systems and mass media. Memorial Day is an excellent time to reflect on the value of a life well-lived and, for many, an opportunity to commemorate those who gave their lives to help others.
On the other hand, We Disconnect is simply a blog by a writer who has seen the value of disconnecting from mass media outlets such as television and of taking breaks from constant availability through the internet and smartphones. And I hope that readers who find such topics of interest will also become writers through the comments and even guest posts.
We Disconnect will consider such disparate yet related topics as:
taking social media breaks during the day,
turning off smartphones at shared meals,
going on vacations and disconnecting for days at a time,
and even going off-grid entirely.
For me this range of topics goes back to the late 70s when I first stopped watching tv. Perhaps my first conscious act of disconnecting came when a friend turned off the sound when commercials came on during a broadcast we were enjoying. This conscious act of controlling a communication system that even today seems to control the minds of so many was a first step towards a life in which consuming media and being available for communication at a distance was one of choices.
My involvement with such systems as broadcast and cable tv, broadcast radio, the internet and world wide web and telephones and smartphones has never been an all or nothing relationship. Sometimes I use them and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’m on and sometimes I’m off. And most often my day includes a combination of activities, not quite a middle-ground, but, at its best, a fluid approach to being connected and disconnected.
The bigger goal is not to keep my internet addiction in check or to remain available to others without being overwhelmed by incessant, superficial contact but to be more connected to myself, to those around me and to the world beyond.
I look forward to sharing thoughts and stories about such topics from my own experiences, my daily reading and my contacts with others, such as yourself, who find such topics worth pursuing.
[Originally published at We Disconnect on May 30, 2016]