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Can You Turn It Off?

Can You Turn It Off?
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Shutdown Day, scheduled for 24 March, could have interesting repercussions worldwide if many people indeed keep their computers off for a 24-hour period. From ShutdownDay.org:Be a part of one of...

Kristin Gorski
  • 23 february 2007


Shutdown Day, scheduled for 24 March, could have interesting repercussions worldwide if many people indeed keep their computers off for a 24-hour period. From ShutdownDay.org:

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!

A few scenarios come to mind. Emails will go unanswered, and blogs will not be updated. During lunch breaks, people might talk to their co-workers and go for walks outside. One might even buy a newspaper to catch up on the latest.

At home, computer games will wonder what they’ve done to cause their players to ignore them so completely. The echoes of IM bleeps and pings will temporarily cease.

But the underlying questions beneath Shutdown Day are: Are we so addicted and dependent on our computers that we cannot go without them even for a day? How do we relate to the world when computers are not the biggest blips on our radar screens?

On the Shutdown Day site, the running tally is 12,292 boldly claiming that yes, they can go without computers, while 1,187 have admitted they cannot (as of February 22nd). Is this nay-saying minority pessimistic or just realistic?

The site also has a Google Map featuring participants from all over the world and their predictions on how they’ll fare that day. A running comment thread on the homepage and three YouTube videos about the day add to this site’s entertainment and conversational value. Aiming for global reach, ShutdownDay.org has been translated into seven languages. (Update, 25 February — Make that eight languages — Italian has recently been added.)

Found via NOTCOT.

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