Social September; How will you 'Disconnect to Reconnect'?

“Dad – are you okay? It’s been three hours since you checked your blackberry” was my sister’s introduction to my dad in her wedding speech. The ensuing guilty laughter of all those who could relate (or were sneakily updating their facebook under the table mid-speech) is a telling indicator of who –or what – has the upper hand in our relationship with technology. 

Whether playing Words with Friends while crossing the road or sitting on iPads while having coffee with friends, Social September encourages people to connect with each other – by disconnecting. It is an initiative to raise funds for the Reach Foundation, which promotes the mental health and emotional wellbeing of vulnerable young people.
Photo: Social September Facebook 
Funnily enough, Social September is using our addiction to all things techy – facebook, twitter, the whole social media sphere – to get this message across. Recognising the critical role that technology does play in facilitating our social lives, super socialite and founder of Social September, Bianca Venuti-Hughes, is encouraging us to be more conscious of the where, why and how we do it. Don’t quit facebook – but stop checking it when with company. Keep an eye on your emails – but not over dinner with your girlfriend (or at your daughter’s wedding). Answer that SMS – when you’ve finished our conversation with your mum. 
Founder Bianca Venuti-Hughes reconnects using old-school technology
Launching at the stylish Mezzaluna Ristorante Italiano in Potts Point, ambassadors roved the floor with giant plastic phones as guests admired the sparking Sydney skyline. Maria Venuti, the larger than life entertainer of Mad Pizza fame, stunned the crowd with a powerful rendition of “That’s what friends are for” as the connected crowd tweeted, checked in and instagrammed pics of the event. 

Photo: Social September Facebook
As the clock ticks past midnight tonight, we will farewell winter and commence our springtime socialising – so go to for more info, register to host a Reconnect event, or take on a personal Disconnect challenge for September.


Miss Marmalade, Bondi Junction

"Decaf coffee is like kissing your sister!" The wall, Miss Marmalade

8am, Monday morning. I walk briskly to Bondi Junction station to catch the train to work, an icy wind biting the tip of my nose. At 8 degrees Celsius, my head is down, scarf tightly wound and gloved hands jammed into my pockets. Oxford St is a peripheral blur of sleepy shops, loud buses and early morning commuters. 

A warm blast of air and chilled music jolts me out of my determined stride as I pass Miss Marmalade. An oasis of warmth in the Sydney chill, Miss Marmalade is a surprisingly cozy vintage haven, chalk scribbled all over the walls with irreverent quotes amongst the art. The walls may be cheeky but this establishment is clearly serious about its coffee, and appeals to the demand for organic and fair-trade that is flourishing in Bondi but surprisingly scarce in the junction itself. 
I break my mad rush to order a coffee from the dimpled waiter who grins and banters with me while I wait. A laugh, a sensational coffee and a moment of serenity in an otherwise routine trip to work; thanks to Miss Marmalade for a gentle reminder to stop and smell the coffee beans.

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