the winter of our disconnect

by Kristina Sloggett

in Books, random

Did you hear about the lady who was texting and fell into a mall fountain? Sad.

My first (chilling) thought was “what if she was driving?” I am so happy Oregon outlawed cellular phones while driving!

There is a new book about a mother who unplugged her family from technology for six months – The Winter of Our Disconnect – clever title, too!

If you leave work (including blogging…) out of it, could you disconnect from everything – blackberry, iPhone, email, television for any length of time?

If you couldn’t forgo everything, what COULD you give up?

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa January 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I love the idea of this!

I resisted getting a cell phone for SO long. I just didn’t want to become “that person.” Then having to walk home in the dark several miles because I didn’t have a phone to call someone inspired me to get a cellphone. This was a few years ago.

Last Christmas my boyfriend got me an iPhone and I have become “that person.” It’s SOOO hard to disconnect when you have an iPhone. The internet is at the tips of my fingers at all times.

When I watch TV I have to have my phone to multi-task. I read blogs on my phone, play Words with Friends and Solitaire. Sometimes I just need to disconnect from everything.


2 spabettie January 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I totally agree – I rarely can watch television without doing something else at the same time… I have my laptop AND my EVO going at the same time sometimes… then Jason will say something, and someone might text me, and my eyes roll back in my head and eeeooyyy eeeooyyy!!


3 saltytooth January 20, 2011 at 1:47 pm

I hate to admit that there is no way I could disconnect. Even on weekends I’m the person who is checking my work email on my phone. It’s disgusting. I’m kind of hoping that the baby will force me to put technology in perspective.


4 Beth January 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I feel like it would be SO hard to give up everything. I think the easiest (but still very hard) thing for me to give up would be TV. I watched A LOT, but could do without.


5 Heather (Where's the Beach) January 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Ugh, I really don’t know that I could totally disconnect. I actually really didn’t want the hubs to get smart phones b/c I knew that’d make it even easier to stay plugged in ….allll…..the…time.


6 purplebirdblog January 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm

I work from home and am behind my computer pretty much 24/7 when I’m not at school or asleep! It’s disturbing and sad. I am actually currently looking for a new job for the remainder of the time I’m in massage therapy school, and I am specifically looking for something that gets me away from the computer. I want to get. out. of. here! :)


7 Carly D. @ CarlyBananas January 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I really don’t think I could do it. As I was thinking about this, my first reaction was that I *MUST* disconnect sometimes… but even when I’m not on the computer or iPhone, I’m watching tv with the boyfriend. I have a DVD playing if I’m exercising at home. There’s an app running on my iPhone when I go out for a run (but really that’s for safety and the phone is in my spibelt – I can at least say that I’m not one of those people who texts while they run!). I really rely on technology for so much that I don’t know how I’d get by without it.


8 Jennifer January 20, 2011 at 3:05 pm

That story was crazy, seriously you are right thank God she wasn’t driving!!! I don’t think I could unplug.. anything.. haha, but I guess if I had to I would say my computer because my iphone can do it all? IDK that is hard!!


9 Joslyn @ missfitbliss January 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Anything but my phone! This is TMI, but I take with me to the bathroom. Sad.


10 Dorry January 20, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Oh dear. Billy and I just watched the video of the lady in the fountain. And then she was interviewed on – so sad!

We disconnected to a degree when we lived in Belize. Our internet was limited and we had a few TV channels, but didn’t really watch it. I’m pretty attached to my iPhone, but (as I’ve said before…), I’d love to disconnect more often.


11 S @ January 20, 2011 at 4:12 pm

I just wouldn’t. I have no life where I work, and the boredom and loneliness would be overbearing.

BUT: I hate the phone. HATE. I’d give up the phone line if I could just have the data on my iPhone… and I’d give up my whole cell in favour of keeping my computer, and I don’t have a TV at all.

And I also think we’re WAY too overconnected. When people have to text while in the presence of others, I’m kinda grossed out. I wish we could focus more on face-to-face interaction and build communities that way! I refused Facebook until I moved to my present location of sever boredom, and I still think we should shift the focus to *away* from the screen instead of *in front*. Since I do live here, though, I’m endlessly grateful for all the blogosphere gives me, in human connection. Oh, the contradictions. πŸ˜€


12 Heather January 20, 2011 at 5:33 pm

I love to give up my “toys” when I go on vacation – a few days with relatively no interruptions is heavenly.

I would give up my cell phone – I really only use it for calling my husband to see when he is coming home. It does give me a certain level of comfort when I am driving home late at night from work.


13 Meg January 20, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Hah, I read the first comment and I’m totally “that person”. I cannot put my iPhone down for more than 5 minutes (unless I’m in school or church I guess). When I’m watching tv, I have to be doing something with my hands. Sometimes I read a book and watch tv at the same time. I really think that we suffer from technology overload, even though I’m addicted and can’t see myself changing anytime soon!


14 Carbzilla January 20, 2011 at 6:45 pm

I am a TERRIBLE person for watching that video more than once. OMG. I would have died of embarrassment. My husband’s a web developer, I now have an IPad, there’s little hope we can unplug. But we seem to be okay with it.


15 Kris | January 20, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Yes I could. We gave up cable 2 years ago to keep our minds on track and away from news, etc. I do still watch my fave shows online, but don’t really miss my cable.

I have been without a phone and internet before and actually feel LESS stress without them. I realized the internet can rule my world and both Ryan and I shut down at a certain time at night to chill and relax :)

Could you do it??

Much love Girl!



16 sophia January 21, 2011 at 12:24 am

I would give up TV…since I don’t have a TV right now anyway, it really doesn’t matter to me. I would DIE without my cell phone or Macbook though. And I’m just about to get an iPhone! :-)


17 spabettie January 21, 2011 at 8:56 am

we gave up cable, and it was easier than I thought it would be… you’re about to get an iPhone?? your dependence is about to go WAY up! πŸ˜€


18 simplyshaka January 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Very interesting book. I will have to see if my library has it.

They outlawed texting while driving here but everyone does it all the time. I live along a busy road and when Im out walking Lincoln, I like to look at people while theyre driving and it seems like 75% are them texting. It drives me crazy.

I think if I had to pick one-it would be my blackberry. I check it way too often, its sad!


19 spabettie January 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm

it is SO aggravating to see people texting or talking… when I see someone swerving, driving slow or erratically, then I see a PHONE in their hand!


20 nic - the auspicious squirrel January 22, 2011 at 10:42 pm

So scary that people text while driving! Eeek… I don’t even answer my phone while I’m driving… I’ll call back once I’ve parked.

I have days where I just have to walk away from technology… I don’t check my email, I don’t blog… just have to get away sometimes. We gave up cable around the time that the analog went HD… (our cable connection is only internet) we now only watch ‘tv’ thru hulu or the website of the actual show, like daily show on comedy central, etc… it’s tons better, now I watch what I want, WHEN I want and I don’t have to pre-record it. It also feels like I’m wasting less time… I don’t just sit and flip the tv b/c I’m bored.

My inlaws offered to get us iphones and we declined, saying that we just don’t use our phones that way… sure we text each other, but we don’t have an internet plan, (if I need to look something up, I’ll go to the computer where the internet plan is reasonably priced)… I told them I’d rather use the money for camera stuff. πŸ˜‰


21 Aimee January 25, 2011 at 11:13 am

Interesting question really. We don’t watch much TV, but we love to watch a few shows that we record, and we enjoy movies. So that would be hard to give up. Cell phones are great in a pinch, and of course the internet is amazing and fun for connecting to others. So, if I had to pick, I would give up TV. Moderation is the key though really, especially in this time we live in.

Looks like you got moved to your own server?! Congrats!! :)


22 spabettie January 25, 2011 at 12:13 pm

we gave up cable and now watch much more QUALITY television… we can still watch most of what we like online and through Apple TV and the computer Jason set up for it… :)

and yes… I’ve moved to self hosting! still working on getting everything back up and looking normal, but it’s getting there! thanks for the congrats, cross your fingers for me that it continues to go smooth… :)


23 Denise @ Do you have that in my size??? January 27, 2011 at 11:17 am

I keep thinking that my husband and I need to go technology-free for a month just to make sure we still can. We are that couple that IMs each other within the house; so sad.


24 spabettie January 27, 2011 at 11:47 am

ha! yes… I can understand that… Jason and I make short term “rules” now and then – no television for the weekend, no laptops tonight, etc! it’s really refreshing to spend time without it all sometimes… πŸ˜€


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