How many people are going to take part in "Shutdown Day" this year?
The idea behind this expiriment is to see how many of us can go without a computer for one day. Many of us have become incredibly dependant on them, and most of us don't even realize just how much of our lives have changed because of the integrated circuit.
The site talks about just shutting our computers off for one day, and some people are taking it further. In the forums there are participants from all over the world that will refrain from using electrical devices altogether. Some will just stay away from computers and television. And others say that they cannot go without their computers or electronic devices for various reasons.
Unfortunately, I'm in the latter group.
Shutdown Day is slated for March 24th, 2007. Because this is a Saturday, many people can take part in this without their jobs interfering. Heck, even I could get away from the computer for half the day without much trouble. However (here comes my excuse), I use my computers for so many purposes that it would be almost impossible to go without for a single day. In order to talk to Reiko I need my 100% computerized phone, or my 100% computer. To read most of my books I require my HP iPaq (perhaps this is a good reason why digital books are not very popular). To listen to music I require other electronics. Heck, there's even a computer in my stove and fridge.
Many people have iPods, or cars manufactured with computer-controlled engines, PlayStations, Nintendo DS's, even talking teddy bears ... the list is seemingly endless. In the last 50 years, we have successfully inserted computers into anything and everything. So for many Westernized citizens, I don't think we could realistically go without our computers (be they PCs, or just computer-enhanced devices) for any real amount of time.
A day or two? Sure. Longer? Probably not.
If Reiko and I were married and living together, then it wouldn't be as hard to go without touching my notebook (or any PC/Mac) for a whole weekend. If we were on vacation somewhere, then I could even get a film-based camera and leave my trusty Canon A540 at home. These would not be huge stretches.
But unfortunately, until that day comes, I need my computers.