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KMDI & TorCHI Present – Designed to Disconnect: Technologies of Non-Use and Communication Avoidance

  • 10 Dec 2014
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Faculty of Information, 140 St George St, Room 205

KMDI & TorCHI Present: Designed to Disconnect: Technologies of Non-Use and Communication Avoidance

Date: Wednesday December 10, 2014 7:00PM
 Networking starts at 6:45pm, Presentation starts at 7pm
Location: Faculty of Information, 140 St. George Street
Room: 205
 No RSVP.  Come and see what ToRCHI is all about, and if you like these presentations, join ToRCHI for $20/year membership. 
Presenter: Dr. Ethan Plaut, Stanford University

ABSTRACT  This message likely arrives amid a wave of email; it too was typed as if pulled by an undertow. We often deride our resignation to the pressures of over-connection as an “internet addiction” to be met with “self help,” but digital disconnection is better understood as an extension of our fundamentally human activity of avoiding communication. “Information overload” is older than commonly recognized, and although digital media today shoulder much blame for this, those very same technologies can be turned around and leveraged as tools of healthy disconnection. Still, the uneven distribution of technologies and opportunities to access the internet we usually call the “digital divide” has a flipside wherein solitude and its tools become luxuries unavailable to the poor and over-connected who cannot untether from their work. Dr. Ethan Plaut visits from Stanford University to deliver this lecture applying historical insights to new ways we are unplugging today and might yet develop to preserve space for solitude in our digital tomorrow.

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