Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Shutdown Day - March 24, 2007

The following introduction proposes a concept which may not seem so radical to COABC's: "It is obvious that people would find life extremely difficult without computers, maybe even impossible. If they disappeared for just one day, would we be able to cope? Be a part of one of the biggest global experiments ever to take place on the internet. The idea behind the experiment is to find out how many people can go without a computer for one whole day, and what will happen if we all participate! Shutdown your computer on this day and find out! Can you survive for 24 hours without your computer?"

In sending out my emails telling people about this site, I wrongly called it "Web Shutdown Day" instead of "Shutdown Day". Big difference. This site, responding to the growing fatigue felt by humans in constant interface with computers, does not intend to shut the whole web down -- even for a day. It looks for simple, small-scale, personal responses by individuals to their own computer use. Like "Buy Nothing Day", this is an opportunity to consciously reflect on our habits, reframing individual behaviour into a community-action context. The site suggests "Turn your computer off. Do something else for one day, then come back and report what happened."

I took the 24-hour pledge on Shutdown Day website along with over 51,000 other people who clicked "I can" (and 8,000 people who confessed "I can't".

The above cheerful and funny video "Alternate Uses for Your Laptop" shows that there is hope for all those sons who disappeared into the basement with their computers. Also intriguing are the written and video responses to the idea of turning the computers off. Maybe this is going to be the next cool thing to do!

1 comment:

  1. Is it relevant to the coabc reality that i can't even read the text on the shut down computers for a day advert? Fonts too small and that, of course, is one of the frustrations that makes computers harder to deal with, even if I do have the skills to know how to handle a dialogue box.