7. juni 2022

Digital Detox Camps: presentation at ICA Preconference

On the 26th of May, DISTRACT PhD student Malene Hornstrup Jespersen gave a presentation at ICA Preconference: Digital Disconnection Studies Beyond Borders in Paris.

In collaboration with Hannah Kanz, PhD student at University of Freiburg, Malene presented findings from empirical research about companies that offer digital disconnection products and services. The presentation focused especially on the methodological and conceptual questions the research had led to. During the empirical studies, the researchers had observed a surprising absence of focused discussions about digital disconnection and found that the companies instead mainly framed their services around other agendas such as mindfulness or wilderness survival – despite advertising their services as “digital detox”.

These observations made it relevant to discuss 1) what sets of practices should be included under the analytical term disconnection, 2) how to find a common language with informants when they do not frame their own actions as digital disconnection, and finally, 3) whether digital disconnection can be considered a topic in and of itself, or whether it is only relevant to talk about in relation to – or as the foundation of – other agendas.

Panel debate following the presentation
Panel debate following the presentation. Picture from Twitter (posted by participant Kathrin Karsay).