Digital Detox: The Politics of Disconnecting

Trine Syvertsen
University of Oslo, Norway

Product Details
30 Mar 2020
Emerald Publishing Limited
195 pages - 129 x 198mm
Against a backdrop of increasingly intrusive technologies, this book explores the digital detox phenomenon and the politics of disconnection from invasive media. With a wealth of examples, Syvertsen demonstrates how self-regulation online is practiced and delves into how it has also become an expression of resistance in the 21st century. 

Providing a rich account of how users reduce their online engagement through time-limitations, restrictions on smartphone use, productivity apps, and use of analogue media, the author reveals how the practice of digital detoxing goes beyond a growing culture of self-help.
Chapter 1. Introduction: Do we have a problem? 
Chapter 2. What is the problem? Intensifying the quest for attention 
Chapter 3. You are the problem! Everybody online and self-regulation  
Chapter 4. Managing the problem. Disconnection and detox 
Chapter 5. The problem is personal - and social: Making sense of digital detox
Trine Syvertsen is Professor of Media Studies at the University of Oslo. She has published extensively on topics of online media, television, media policy and media history, and is an expert on media resistance.
‘Trine Syvertsen has again fascinated us with a reflexive and nuanced discussion of our guilt-ridden and ambivalent engagement with digital media. Situating the phenomenon of digital detox in the much longer history of media resistance, and its roots in the perceived pervasiveness of digital personal and mobile media, Syvertsen discusses how ”the problem” is framed, who is held responsible for solving it (spoiler: you!), what ”solutions” are offered, and how these are received among digital media users. A must-read for anyone who has ever owned a smart-phone!’ - - Göran Bolin, Professor, Södertörn University, Author of Media Generations and Value and the Media: The Shaping of Culture in Media and Society

‘Trine Syvertsen wisely considers the significance of both the societal and the individual dilemmas and influences. The author looks at the huge pressure on economic, political and culture-driven influences and, at a micro level, at the daily life anxieties and demands for detox periods, that can rely on ambivalence, self-determination and work. This tackles the need and struggle for an identity, often different from the mainstream digital culture, even with the most intimate persons as family and friends. Another aspect that that is very interesting is the reflection on the three Ps motivation for detox: Presence, Productivity and Privacy. Finally, I consider of extreme relevance the discussion on digital policies and on how they are driven to get us online at all time, without discussing how this might affect (negatively) our life.’ - - Maria José Brites, Associate Professor at the Lusófona University of Porto (ULP) and Researcher at the Centre for Research in Applied Communication, Culture, and New Technologies (CICANT)

‘Syvertsen offers a valuable look at the social dimensions of digital detox, explaining why it is more than just a lifestyle trend or a tool for self-optimization. Her work confirms that we have much to learn about presence, productivity and privacy from media resisters who engage with devices and networks on their own terms.’ - - Jennifer Rauch, Professor, Long Island University, Author of Slow Media: Why Slow is Satisfying, Sustainable and Smart

‘In this timely and critical analysis of the growing industry of digital detoxing, Trine Syvertsen provides a compelling, historically informed account of how the commercial and political push for 24/7-connectivity intertwines and clashes with personal strategies of resistance. Locating digital detox in broader trajectories for responsibilizing individuals in digital society, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in the everyday politics of digitalization and the digital battle for our attention.’ - - Stine Lomborg, Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen, Author of Social Media, Social Genres: Making Sense of the Ordinary, Editor of Ubiquitous Internet

You might also be interested in..

« Back