Mapping digital magazines: reading as a practice of disconnection

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In a time of ubiquitous and permanent access to the internet made available to more and more people, emergent research has focused on audiences’ practices to disconnect from the internet (Kaun et al., 2014), to go offline and to remove their presence and visibility from online spaces (Light & Cassidy, 2014). From criticism on digital media to acts of refusal such as closing accounts on SNS or abstention from use have been understood “as a performative mode of resistance” (PortwoodStacer, 2012: 1041; Woodstock, 2014). Critical thinkers have highlighted the ways in which digital industries incite participation and production by audiences and some such as Carr (2010) and Turkle (2011) have gone further to criticize the impact of permanent connection, namely on reading practices. The paper aims at mapping people’s practices of disconnecting as a form of resistance, and initiatives that offer offline spaces. In the new digital ecosystem, staying ON seems to be, at the surface, the most effective strategy to engage with the audience. This is especially true for the media and other creative industries, that suffered in the last years an abrupt adaptation to the digital environment and depend highly on social media to disseminate their work. However, the ON formula doesn’t suit all. Staying OFF social media is also a clear strategy for some media and creative industries. Monocle, the worldwide awarded British magazine, is an emblematic example. It doesn’t have a Facebook or Twitter account because it would mean to give content for free. Keeping in mind that the magazine has a legion of fans and is profitable for over eight years, this strategy deserves some thought. Another recent example is Disconnect Magazine that can only be read offline. To pursue this objective, we will use a mixed method approach, combining case-studies of initiatives of digital disconnection with a discourse analyses of readers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMapping the Magazine 6 Proceedings Book
Subtitle of host publicationexploring the current state of magazine research and industry
EditorsCarla Rodrigues Cardoso
PublisherEdições Universitárias Lusófonas
Number of pages2
ISBN (Print)9789897571589
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Digital magazines
  • Disconnection


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