The Disconnect, a new magazine featuring short stories, articles and poetry, is online-only. But you can't actually read it while you're online. The webzine hides behind a warning notice until you disconnect your phone or computer from the internet. (The whole zine loads as soon as you visit one page.) "This is not a Luddite rallying cry against modernity," says editor Chris Bolin. It's "an experiment-in-progress".
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Cover Image by Jacob Halton
The first issue of The Disconnect, titled Escape, is small, with just 13 pieces ranging from one to 13 pages each: Five short stories, five poems, and three essays of "commentary", including a compelling title essay by Alex Beattie about "the next digital divide". This divide separates those who can disconnect from those who can't:
There are the parents, children, or employees who will feel obliged to be available and hesitant to risk extended periods of disconnection. Like cops on the beat, they are required to anticipate the needs of others, so opportunities like trips to remote areas, digital detoxes, or even putting the phone into aeroplane mode, will be few and far between.
If your job uses Slack, or just constant emails, you know that tethered feeling. And it might make it harder to stay offline long enough to read The Disconnect. You could "cheat" by pulling it up on a second device. But by finding a way to read the The Disconnect while staying online, you're proving Beattie's point.
Escape: The Next Digital Divide [The Disconnect]