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

Overview

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 ...

See more details below
Paperback
$10.72
BN.com price
(Save 36%)$16.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (45) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $3.56   
  • Used (36) from $1.99   
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

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$13.99
BN.com price

Overview

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.)
Kirkus Reviews

Weekend Australian Magazine columnist Maushart (What Women Want Now, 2007, etc.) examines what happened when she and her three teenaged children went on a six-month hiatus from the digital world.

The author includes a telling story about two little girls trapped in a storm drain. The first thing they did? "They updated their Facebook status, of course." Maushart worried that she and her children were becoming trapped within the digital world, estranged from the real world and from each other. She had grown skeptical of the claim that the new media was somehow improving their lives. And so began "The Winter of Our Disconnect," six months without computers (laptop and otherwise), iPods, iPhones, texting, video games, Facebook, e-mail or TV—a "screen-free adventure." Though she and her children were initially excited about the adventure, resentment and resistance soon followed. Maushart hated having to write her newspaper column by hand; Sussy, the youngest, lamented that "I can't go for walks 'cause I don't have my iPod." Over time, however, their self-imposed digital detox changed them for the better; boredom led to discovery of each other and of the world around them. The family room was no longer a series of separate docking stations, but a place where the family actually gathered. Family meals, and conversation, replaced hurried bites between digital fixes. Bill, freed from endless entrapment in video games, resurrected his love for music and excelled on the saxophone. Sussy discovered sleep, freed from the "need" to update her status at four in the morning. Rather than multitask, and aimlessly Google from one bit of information to the next, the kids read. They had discovered, as Maushart writes, "a renewed sense of agency." The author narrates her story in a breezy, irreverent style, but beneath the humor is much wisdom about what our wired world does for us and to us.

No Luddite diatribe, but an insightful tale of the digital dilemmas familiar to many families.

Nora Krug
Writing in a breezy, conversational style, Maushart weaves anecdotes with statistics and cultural studies…she makes an inspiring and entertaining case for the unplugged life…
—The Washington Post
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585428557
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/20/2011
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 355,341
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 0.28 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Maushart is a columnist for Weekend Australian Magazine and is heard regularly on ABC Radio as host of the acclaimed online series "Multiple Choice." Maushart has a PhD in Media Ecology from New York University and her book The Mask of Motherhood was hailed by the London Times as "a feminist classic." She lives in Australia but will be returning to live in the Long Island, New York, area this winter.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Who We Are, and Why We Pressed "Pause" 9

2 Power Trip: The Darkness Descends 33

3 Boredom for Beginners 63

4 My iPhone/Myself: Notes from a Digital Fugitive 101

5 The Sound of One Hand Doing Homework 141

6 Loss of Facebook: Friending the Old-Fashioned Way 181

7 Eat, Play, Sleep 215

8 The Return of the Digital Native 249

Afterword 267

Notes 269

Recommended Reading 277

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    Great

    Really funny. It kept me and my family entertained for a good bit :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2012

    Wizard phone

    Here u can get a phone here for wizards.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Celia

    Weird

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2011

    Student was right!

    One of my middle school student's recommended this book to me as she thought I would enjoy it- she was right. This is a book all parents and teachers should read. I encourage my own children (and husband) and students to discover awe in the world yet being plugged in so frequently makes it next to impossible. The Experiment is a great idea!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A must read for Parents with Teens.

    I really enjoyed this book it was really eye opening on how all media effects are children. I enjoyed reaing Maushart families journey through 6 months of a media free household. My wife and I have made Sunday a media free day in our home and Mausharts book has reafirmed the importance of it. I recomend all parents of teens and younger read this book it will help you rethink the effects of media on your family.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)