A few weeks ago, I found this article about a mother who chose to disconnect her family from technology for six months. The mother, author Susan Maushart, decided this experiment was a necessity when she realized her three teens didn’t just “use” media, they “inhabited” it. Maushart also needed a break from technology – she was sleeping with her phone next to her and carrying it to the bathroom. She admits that her toughest challenge while being disconnected was “relinquishing the ostrichlike delusion that burying my head in information and entertainment from home was just as good as actually being there.”
I think Maushart makes some very insightful observations about the effect technology has on us, which was brought to light by being separated from it for awhile. She describes her family’s transition as them all awaking “slowly from the state of cognitus interruptus that had characterized many of their waking hours to become more focused logical thinkers.”
Maushart wrote a book to describe how her family was revived from their technological daze. I bought it and plan to read it soon. Check it out on Amazon: The Winter of Our Disconnect
My question is this: do you think everyone could benefit from at least a short break from technology? Do you think Maushart’s actions were extreme and unnecessary?
I find this idea of hers to be very powerful; my job and coursework currently prohibit me from losing all technology, but I think I may try “unplugging” one day a week and take a longer break later this year. I also commend Maushart for her strength as a mother; enforcing such rules on three teens whose generation knows nothing but technology was probably no easy feat. I’m excited to read her book and am sure I’ll mention it again.