DISCONNECTION: DESIGNS AND DESIRES
One of the paradoxes of disconnection is that social platforms like Facebook frame it as a threat to our prosperity while critics associated with “the techlash” maintain that quite on the contrary it is the only thing that brings back the possibility for good life. Disconnection means different things for different actors and these differences manifest in varying desires and designs. The five papers in this panel draw on empirical research and media and cultural theory to find answers to questions such as what process have led to the desires to disconnect; how does something disconnect; when does it disconnect; what does it disconnect; and whose disconnection it is? Two of the papers map the choice to disconnect in situations where on one hand digital participation has become structurally necessary by the demands of the society and on the other where users are doing outdoor activities and it is connection that requires activity. Three of the papers focus on particular designs of disconnection from Facebook’s off-Facebook Activity Tool to UX Design Decks and the Light Phone. As a whole, the panel describes the different ways disconnection is becoming central to our online existence.