The Winter of Our Disconnect

I recently finished reading this excellent analytical memoir after having my interest sparked on the subject of how Christians should use technology and social media just over a year ago. The book doesn’t have anything of a Christian focus, but it does thoroughly explore the motivations and effects of our techno-usage in a way that is useful to any human who has to deal with screens on a daily basis.

It’s helped me to think through my relative thoughtlessness and adjust some of my practices for the better. Maushart’s domestic campaign seems to be in search of a fuller life, recognising that our misuse of technology – or Biblically, our blending in with the world – has watered down real, face-to-face life and has robbed us of concentration and extra-technological skills, among other things.

She refers to Henry David Thoreau’s Walden as her manual for Real Life (so I’m obviously reading this myself now). While Thoreau sets a noble example of dedication to living deliberately, using every hour and opportunity with good intention, he does this without reference to a community or Creator, and therefore can only scratch at the surface of reality. Humans might offer one another good advice, perhaps even wisdom – but that’s where the influence should stop for Christians. We look instead to the very source of all wisdom, and the Transcendentalist got nothin’ on Jesus.

A guide to using ‘winter disconnect’ as a verb

Here are some examples of acceptable usage.

1. “Do you mind if I just winter disconnect you for a second? I need to reply to this text/e-mail/facebook message/tweet/whatsapp/bbm”. – This is an excellent way to politely request permission from your present company to attend to urgent, or mildly important, communications. Everyone in possession of a smartphone will understand the necessity for this usage, although self-control must be exercised in order to actually communicate with the person whose face you are in front of, as this is essentially declaring that whatever has dropped into your inbox is more important than the human(s) you’re with.

2. “Oh wow, you’re completely winter disconnecting me right now.” - This might be shot at you by a friend close enough to say it in humour while acknowledging the truth of the situation. You can avoid being accused of this by simply employing suggested use no.1.

3. “[Observing] Flip, those guys are so winter disconnected. I feel bad for them.” - Often said in passing by the author of this blog, fully aware of the irony that 10 minutes later I myself might winter disconnect from whoever I’m with. (I could probably do with being challenged on this more often than currently happens, please).

Angeline Liles, 2011-2012 Apprentice
Angeline loves... bad-mouthing Bruce Springsteen's music. Just because.

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Angeline Liles, Apprentice Blog, 14/03/2012