Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Winter of Our Disconnect

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 by Susan Maushart.

Some writers are just brilliant. 

And sometimes they come up with brilliant ideas as well. And sometimes they inflict these brilliant ideas on their family, to the benefit of all mankind. 
Maushart is one of those writers, this book describes one of those ideas, and I have added her family to my list of favourite-non-fiction-literary families (the Maushart’s are presently topping the list along with the Durrells of My Family and Other Animals and Maj and Callan in my all time favourite blog Pretty All True)
The Winter of Our Disconnect is Maushart’s account of herself and her 3 teenagers switching off all their electronic media for 6 months. (And their electricity for the initial 2 weeks so the remaining time felt better by comparison)
Funny, engaging and very, very pertinent this book made me re-think my own (media) addictions and re-examine my ideas about how I want to raise my kids. 
While I know it’s impossible to raise the Poppet and Sprocket on a deserted island with only the classics, Maushart’s discoveries on living in RL (real life) especially about face-to-face contact, family meals, sleep and reading, resonated long and loud.
One of the most interesting points was Maushart’s own media addictions and her ruminations about why she thought they were so strong and how she battled with them.
Can I really expect my kids to go outside and climb a tree if I’m too busy checking my email to come outside and climb it with them?
Or stand strong against the lure of the 'net when I’m guilty of cyber-stalking (come on, it hardly counts, I just wanted to check out if Kirstie Allsop’s husband is worthy of her… and it turns out he’s just her partner and they’re not married ‘cos he has issues. Which would be fine except it sounds like she’d quite like to be married so… now I’m a little sad…)
But I digress.
Basically, it would make me very happy if you would all go out and read the book.
And then talk about it with me.
Because it’s just so funny. And good. And yep. Necessary. Especially if you have kids, but even if you don’t.


  1. OK! I reserved it at the library, so it may take a while.

  2. I reserved it too - but luckily awhile ago. I just love the 'you've got a reservation' email.

    I just wish they put the reservation in the header - I never know if I should open it (reservation) or leave it (overdue and guilt)!

  3. He he he... I love the emails that tell me my books are due in a couple of days. I don't have as many overdue books.