This idea was just too unique not to pass on…
On November 1st, people around the world may have the opportunity to step into the shoes of someone who has social communication problems. At least that’s the intent of an Australian not for profit organization called AEIOU that has initiated a very unique fund raising program called Communication ShutDown. The concept is to have people shutdown their Facebook and Twitter accounts for just one day- on November 1, 2010.
By going without this social connection, some might say social addiction; it emulates the social communication difficulties, isolation and loneliness experienced by many people with ASD. I think it’s a stretch, but the intent is a good one: get people aware of and have empathy for those individuals with social communication difficulties, while raising money for autism charities around the world.
By going to this Communication Shutdown site, you can sign up to receive the Charity app (CHAPP) that will give you a “shutdown badge” to post online. This notifies your social network that you’re supporting an autism charity and will not be communicating with them on November 1, 2010. Additionally, your facebook picture gets added to the large mosaic of people who have supported autism (if you don’t see the mosaic, click on the “A Global Fundraiser for Autism” in the top left part of the screen).
I must admit, that contrary to the goals of this fundraiser, I’d love to see people shut down their online time at least once a week for “mental health.” Many people who use Facebook and Twitter, as a primary means of communicating are not necessarily more socially skilled. In fact, I believe there is some research that supports that point. The meaning of “friend” has been lost as people have hundreds and thousands of “friends.” The concept of personal boundaries is essentially nonexistent as everyone hears about personal details best left to private conversations and the minutia of information is, well, inane.
But, I guess I digress, as the goal of Communication Shutdown is to raise awareness for ASD and support autism charities around the world, and that I can surely support.
So, if you’re game, go dark on November 1st.