Cutoff Conversations – Cutting Room Floor

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As I gear up to release Being Cut, my book on relationship cutoff, I want to discuss some interesting statements people shared with me, which did not end up in the book. I’ll keep it all anonymous.

My interlocuter said,

I like thinking about the world where cutoff does not exist. In that it would have to be either no deep connections with others or every time we make a deep connection with another it is a lifetime commitment. Commitment is such a rare and honored thing in our culture. Would it mean less if there were no choice to cut off?

The first type of society (no deep connections) reminds me of Brave New World. Indeed, cutoff (ex. I’m going to ignore you, not return calls) is probably fairly rare there. And when it happens, it probably packs little punch. (And if it does pack a punch, one can always escape into through gram of soma.)

On the whole, though, I think this reasoning displays a fallacy of cutoff culture: all or nothing, lifetime deep commitment or 0 contact. I don’t advocate for a world without cutoff, but in such a world, there would be many ways to break or lessen deep commitments: divorce, breaking up with a partner, explicitly breaking off a friendship, ceasing to share personal information, emancipation from parents, moving away (literally or in terms of time/energy allocation), etc. I suppose not having the social option of cutoff implies some required commitment–ex. an expectation of gritting one’s teeth and saying “hi” at a party–but I don’t think that’s the kind of “rare and honored” commitment the speaker means here.

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Arwen Spicer
Arwen Spicer

Arwen Spicer is a science fiction writer and writing teacher raised in the San Fransciso Bay Area, and Northern California will hold her heart forever, even if it turns into a desert. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on ecology in utopian science fiction and is an educator on the concept of workable utopias. Her novel The Hour before Morning was hailed as “A carefully paced, rewarding sci-fi debut” by Kirkus Indie.

Arwen Spicer By Arwen Spicer

Arwen Spicer

Arwen Spicer

Arwen Spicer is a science fiction writer and writing teacher raised in the San Fransciso Bay Area, and Northern California will hold her heart forever, even if it turns into a desert. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on ecology in utopian science fiction and is an educator on the concept of workable utopias. Her novel The Hour before Morning was hailed as “A carefully paced, rewarding sci-fi debut” by Kirkus Indie.

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