Well, frankly speaking, I have reached a stage of insecurity, wherein if I don’t check my emails, facebook & twitter before I board a flight or a train, it makes me nervous. I try to repeat the act in a train, when I find suitable signal for my datacard to work. If I am a wee bit good in guessing, I would be sure that there would be a plethora of souls like Me, too. Staying incommunicado with the world, for an hour, a day or an entire lifetime seems an impossible task for people like You & Me, who tend to think that we can’t survive without Social Media.
As an initiative to create awareness about Autism, Social Networking Enthusiasts & Addicts, have decided to stay offline from Facebook, Twitter & other Social Media sites on Nov 1; and create a ‘Silent Virtual World’. The number of such users is expected to be approx 4.5 billion, worldwide.
This act seems justified as the people who suffer from Autism face the major challenge of overcoming Social Communication. This might also include repetitive behaviour & online action too. To create awareness about the same, Communication Shutdown, a global initiatve, is planned on Oct 1, with the message ~ “One-Day without Social Networking – Can You Brave it” ? The co-ordination responsibility in India lies with the Bangalore based Asha Foundation Trust. This trust was started in 2001, by Ramesh Vangal, Serial Entreprenuer & former PepsiCo employee & his wife Katharin Zimpel, to work for that challenged section of humans who are autistic. Ramesh Vangal on this initiative quoted, “Communication Shutdown is a simple effort to make people feel what autistic individuals go through in their everyday lives“.
How this Campaign would Work ?
The Shutdown Campaign began on Oct 1 by requesting Facebook & Twitter users to donate voluntarily & receive a charity application ‘app’ which automatically will show one’s status as a voluntary blackout of the social channels on Nov 1. The site will also host a global mosaic where supporters will be able to view their profile pictures next to celebrities who have signed up for the same cause.
What are the Learnings from such Campaigns ?
The idea of a shutdown was first initiated in Australia by AEIOU Foundation, and it reached audience of 40 countries in much less time than expected. Campaigns such as this, not only are aimed at creating awareness & prevention, but they also serve a hidden agenda to understand the Social EMdia habits. They are also focussed to understand the reliability of such initiatives, the communication methodologies & also a, Social Experiement.