Mindful Disconnection: Counterpowering the Panopticon from the Inside by Howard Rheingold and Eric Kluitenberg in Skor.nl challenges the "unquestioned connectivity" of the Internets and propose a possible alternative they call ‘mindful disconnection’, or rather the ‘art of selective disconnectivity’. Some excerpts I found relevant:
"We are not as convinced as others that technology is only, primarily, or necessarily a dangerous toxin. There is a danger in locating technologies' malignancies in the tools themselves rather than the way people use them (...) Perhaps tools, methods, motivations, and opportunities for making the choice to disconnect – and perceiving the value of disconnecting in ways of our choosing – might be worth considering as a response to the web of info-tech that both extends and ensnares us. (...) In a world of prevailing disconnectivity, to be able to connect is a privilege (e.g., the ‘digital divide). In a world of always-on connectivity, this relation might very well be reversed and the real privilege could then be the ability to withdraw and disconnect – to find sanctuary from eternal coercion to communicate, to connect, or to be traceable."
The article ends with a nice list about the "Art and Science of Selective disConnectvity".
Why do I blog this? disconnectivity is a topic that I am remotely interested in, rather as a personal feeling about technologies than a research field.
This said, there might certainly be a need for a "disconnection literacy", a concept closed to the "information literacy" and learning how to eat properly. The point would be to reach a balance between the connected and the isconnected status to ponder the information overload/attention disruptions.
Furthermore, what they describe in this article can even go beyond technological connectivity... I take jokes such as Isolatr very seriously: our world values connection so much that it's not only connection to devices but also connections to people that are important. The word "serendipity" is now everywhere, what's next: a renaissance of the misanthropes?