Could you give it up for a day?

I stumbled on this article in the Globe and Mail yesterday, about autism charities around the world asking people to disconnect for one day – basically, no Facebook, no Twitter – so that people can experience the difficulties autistic people face communicating socially.  My first thought?  Is our society that bad that people can’t live without Facebook or Twitter, or for that matter, logging on to a computer at all, for ONE DAY?!?  Has it seriously gotten to the point where we can’t talk to each other face-to-face for one day?

I’m sure some of you have heard my complaints about one of the on-line tools we use at work, where people can give kudos, ask for feedback, get coaching from a peer.  It boggles my mind that in a major communications company, we can’t even provide feedback in person, or walk up to someone and give them a pat on the back and say “nice job Bob!”  If we can’t do that, how can we expect the world to abandon Facebook or Twitter for a day?  It’s a sad state of affairs, if you ask me.  Personally, I love it when I don’t have access to a computer.  To be able to disconnect for a day is great. It gives you the chance to focus on the real world around you every once in a while.  To remember that we are social beings, that we require human interaction, not through a poke, tweet, or status update.

I’m all for raising awareness about autism, breast cancer, or whatever, but I’m sure there are better ways that we can do it.  Facebook is not real life, and updating your status on where you leave your purse when you walk in the house, or not updating your status at all for a day, will not change the world for the better.  Perhaps it’s even making it worse…


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