I’m humbled to see all the positive feedback everyone is giving the book. Maybe they’re just thinking, “Better her than me!” but whatever it is … it’s gratifying all the same. I loved Helen Brown’s piece in The Telegraph because it just so damned well written. You don’t get that much!
The Telegraph’s, Helen Brown, posted the article “A Page In The Life” earlier this week.
As always, below is a short excerpt, accompanied by a link to the full article.
Telegraph :: A Page In The Life: Susan Maushart
Susan Maushart, PhD, is the first grown up I’ve heard use the internet abbreviation LOL (laugh out loud) as a verb. It bobs about in her sophisticated New Yorker’s conversation like an ironic, pink cocktail cherry in an ice-cold Manhattan.
But then, so much of what happened during her family’s six-month “digital detox” found her “LOLing at myself”. Quite often just after she’d thought, “WTF?!” or “OMG!” She picked up the habit from her three children, who were 14, 15 and 18 years old when their mother pulled the plug on all their electronic media.
Was there a trigger that led the academic-turned-author and columnist to silence the computers, phones and iPods that chirped incessantly “like a cadre of evil crickets” in her household?
“No,” she writes in The Winter of Our Disconnect. There wasn’t an epiphany, just a creeping fear that her girls were becoming “accessories to their own social networking profiles, as if real life were just a dress rehearsal (or, more accurately, a photo op) for the next status update”. There was also the fact that she didn’t want to spend any more time staring at the back of her son’s head while he battled muscle-bound avatars in cyberspace and his homework got lost in transmission.
Maushart was also inspired by rereading Thoreau’s Walden, about the American author’s self-imposed exile to a woodland cabin, without what passed for mod cons in the mid-19th century.
If Thoreau could last two years without running water, surely her family could manage six months without a modem? Of course, Thoreau didn’t have teenagers, or a Facebook account to tend…