Last month I wrote an article for The Independent describing the ‘digital detox’ we experienced during “The Winter of Our Disconnect“. Well, I sort of wrote it. Really, it was a collaboration between me, my book and an unseen sub-editor. Ah, the wonders of media! Was excited to have an article in this paper. Along with The Guardian, it’s one I read online all the time.
Below is an excerpt from the article as well as a link to the full article:
Raising three teenagers as a single parent is no Kon-Tiki cruise at the best of times. But when I decided we should all set sail for a six-month screen-free adventure, it suddenly came closer to The Caine Mutiny, with me in the Bogart role.
There were lots of reasons why we pulled the plug on our electronic media… or, I should say, why I did, because heaven knows my children would have sooner volunteered to go without food, water, or hair products. At ages 14, 15, and 18, my daughters Sussy and Anni and my son Bill don’t use media. They inhabit media. And they do so exactly as fish inhabit a pond. Gracefully. Unblinkingly. And utterly without consciousness or curiosity as to how they got there. They don’t remember a time before email, instant messenger, or Google. Even the media of their own childhood – VHS and dial-up, Nintendo 64 and “cordful” phones – they regard as relics, as quaint as inkwells. They collectively refer to civilisation pre–high-definition flat screens as “the black and white days”.
My children – like yours, I’m guessing – are part of a generation that cut its teeth, literally and figuratively, on a keyboard, learning to say “‘puter” along with “mama,” “juice,” and “now!” They’ve had mobile phones and wireless internet longer than they’ve had molars. Who multitask their schoolwork alongside five or six other electronic inputs, to the syncopated beat of the instant messenger pulsing insistently like some distant tribal tom-tom. Read More…