Dis/Connect: how individuals use digital technologies – and disconnect from them?

Dis/Connect: how individuals use digital technologies – and disconnect from them?

How do people connect – and disconnect – from digital media, especially after a pandemic that imposed long lockdowns and social connection maintained at a distance through digital? This is what the Dis/Connect initiative seeks to investigate, since February 2021.

Dis/Connect has reached out to people looking for no-wifi / ‘dead zone’ locations or participating in 'digital detox' programmes, as well as its organizers, finding that the ways in which people balance the use and non-use of digital connectivity is related to the ways in which they relate to family, friends or work.

Independent people seek and find it easier to disconnect, while those who are caregivers or dependent on other people feel pressure to stay connected through their mobile phone and digital services.

This initiative, led by CICANT, from Lusófona University, in partnership with CRC-W from Catholic University, and the partners of the Norwegian project Digitox at the Universities of Bergen and Oslo, also interviewed – remotely – 16 young people between 15 and 18 years, from different parts of the country.
The group of teenagers revealed that it is those who have easier access to the internet who frame periods of greater occupation – practicing sports, camping or socializing – as being digitally disconnected.

In the coming months, Dis/Connect will continue to work on data collection with participants in 'digital detox' and young people, and will promote an international training action on comparative research based on the bilateral research experience.