Technology both unites us and divides us. New technologies enable us to virtually connect with anyone from around the word with a touch of a button. As our digital footprint grows, so does our tendency to forgo face-to-face human interaction. We wanted students to experimentally realize the value of being conscientious about how they way we use technology impacts our engagement with people and the world around us, so Penn[Dis]Connects was born.
For Penn[Dis]connect's first iteration in 2013, we challenged students to sign a pledge to turn off their computers and phones and spend a Saturday in April IRL. The day culminated in an evening picnic, replete with disposable cameras, acoustic music, homemade food, and good times.
In 2014, we created a Penn [Dis]connects Week, with events ranging from a lecture on technology's role in our world from the professor of Penn's monk class to subsidized cell-phone free dinners in Philly's eateries. The week then culminated in the signature [Dis]connected Picnic.
[Dis]connects promoted analog reconnection and relationships through "no pixels, just people".