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The wise and hilarious story of a family who discovered that having fewer tools to communicate with led them to actually communicate more. When Susan Maushart first announced her intention to pull the plug on her family's entire armory of electronic weaponry for six months-from the itsy-bitsiest iPod Shuffle to her son's seriously souped-up gaming PC-her three kids didn't blink an eye. Says Maushart: "Looking back, I can understand why. They didn't hear me." For any parent who's ever IM-ed their child to the dinner table, this account of one family's self-imposed exile from the Information Age will leave you LOLing with recognition. But it will also make you think. The Winter of Our Disconnectchallenges readers to examine the toll that technology is taking on their own family connections, and to create a media ecology that instead encourages kids-and parents-to thrive. Indeed, as a self-confessed single mom who "slept with her iPhone," Maushart knew her family's exile from Cyburbia wasn't going to be any easier for her than for her three teenagers, ages fourteen, fifteen, and eighteen. Yet they all soon discovered that the rewards of becoming "unplugged" were more rich and varied than any cyber reality could ever be.
Susan Maushart is a columnist for Weekend Australian Magazine and is heard regularly on ABC Radio as host of the acclaimed online series "Multiple Choice." Maushart has a PhD in Media Ecology from New York University and her book The Mask of Motherhood was hailed by the London Times as "a feminist classic." She lives in Australia but will be returning to live in the Long Island, New York, area this winter.