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Brief Published: 28 Feb 2018

Online Zine Makes You Go Offline

The Disconnect

The Disconnect is a new free online magazine of fiction, poetry and essays that is only accessible when the reader goes offline.

The magazine's homepage contains a warning notice informing visitors that they need to disconnect from the internet if they want to access its content as, paradoxically, it's an "offline-only magazine". The moment the user is disconnected, the zine loads. It locks again when the device reconnects.

The Disconnect's first issue came out in January 2018. It includes an essay titled Escape: The Next Digital Divide, which examines the privilege of disconnecting and distancing oneself from the internet. This is The Disconnect's fundamental premise, as expressed in the magazine's about page: "By forcing you to physically disable your internet connection, The Disconnect creates a dynamic that allows you to enjoy engaging, digital content at your own pace."

Technology overwhelm is contributing towards continuous partial attention, which is limiting people's ability to focus, causing anxiety and attention disorders, and even lowering their IQ. The Disconnect is tapping into the notion of monotasking, also known as "single tasking", which means concentrating on a single task at a time (see The Purpose Collective for more). By disconnecting, readers avoid the links, ads and alerts that would normally distract them from the articles they originally intended to read.

For more on consumers' desire for simplicity and digital minimalism, see Essentialist Communities and Simplicity Strategies.