It is going to be very tough for many users, about 4.5 billion social media users, to stay away from social networking websites for one day. On 1st November, 40 autism charities and a team of celebrities worldwide would join forces to launch a global campaign to raise awareness and dollars for a common cause in support of the people with autism. The shutdown will be for 24 hours.
Charities working for autistic people all over the world have come together to request online users to stay away from social networking sites on November 1. By joining this cause, users can gain an insight into lives of autistic people, for whom social communication is a big barrier. The Communication Shutdown campaign requests the users to cut all ties for a day.
This is what the real world is planning to do to raise the cause of autism, now let’s have a look at the virtual world
1. There are over 500 million active users on Facebook
2. Facebook users spend over 700 billion minutes every month on this site
3. About 6 billion minutes are spent on Facebook every day
4. An average user spends about 55 minutes daily on this site. It means nearly 30 hours a month.
These startling figures indicate what power social media holds. Hence, if every user vouches to join the cause and help the campaign, autism would no longer remain in closet. Although, for people bitten by the bug of social media, staying away from their Facebook or twitter account for even one day would be a big task. That one day of sacrifice may help to improve the stature of autistic patients in the society. This campaign is meant to raise awareness about the disorder called autism and also raise funds for the cause.
Autism and Social Communication
Autism is a disability in form of a neurological disorder that affects functioning of the brain. It affects communication skills, social skills, and reasoning. Still worse, autistic people often do not participate or show least interest in what is happening around them. Males are affected four times more than females. Children suffering from autism have a normal growth until around the age of 30 months.
The idea behind the Communication Shutdown campaign is to encourage Facebook and Twitter users to make a charity donation of a $5, and participate in the noble cause. By making a donation, users would receive an application called charity app (CHAPP) that would show a shutdown badge on their profile picture on Nov. 1. This would be achieved by the application CHAPP by connecting with the users of Facebook and Twitter accounts, and by displaying a shutdown icon over their profile picture. In other words, this would also act as an indicator that they have given up Facebook and Twitter for one day.
Join the cause
By logging on www.communicationshutdown.org, users can download the Communication Shutdown CHAPP application. The site will also contain a mosaic of pictures where supporters can see their profile picture next to celebrities who have signed up. Celebrities who are supporting the cause are Miranda Kerr, the Brisbane Broncos, Dr Temple Grandin and Shortland Street stars Sally Martin and Matt Minto.
There are 39 Autism support organizations in Australasia, North America, Europe and Asia who have united for the same cause, and decided to participate in the global Communication Shutdown campaign. This has been supported by several commercial partners too.