How often do you use your computer? Do you check your e-mail as soon as you get up in the morning? Have you ever been on holidays in some remote location and spent half the day frantically trying to find the only internet café within 100 km and then pay a ridiculous amount per hour simply to get your internet fix? Well, it seems you’re not alone, and that’s the premise behind International Shutdown Day, the latest social experiment to take place on the internet. The idea is to see how many people throughout the world can go without a computer for one whole day and what will happen if they do.
Organisers are asking people to register via their website and indicate whether or not they are willing to go cold turkey for a day, and why. The purpose for the project, according to its founders, is to ‘get people to think about how their lives have changed with the increasing use of the home computer, how society is changing and whether or not any good things are being lost because of this’. And if you’re a budding filmmaker, there’s even the option to make a video about why you can or can’t live without your computer.
But technology addictions aside, the amount of energy that could be saved by people across the world leaving their computers switched off for a day is phenomenal in itself. So on Saturday March 24th, why not take your dog for a walk, read a book, call your grandma, fly a kite, write a letter instead of an e-mail, have a picnic in the park – whatever keeps your mind off firing up that computer. Come on…you know you want to.