Don't look for any tweets from Miranda Kerr on November 1, as she and a host of other celebrities like Fran Drescher, Deepak Chopra, and Holly Robinson Peete have committed to shutting down their Facebook and Twitter activities for the day in order to support autism awareness.
The shutdown in communication signifies the communications challenges autistic people often face and is part of a worldwide fundraising effort.
"If not communicating for one day will help kids with autism ... then I look forward to every minute of it," Kerr said.
The day isn't just for celebrities, everyone is encouraged to participate. Here's how:
Just visit www.communicationshutdown.org, and make a donation of at least $5. Once you do, you'll receive a Communication Shutdown CHAPP (charity application) to be displayed on your Facebook and Twitter photos, indicating that you will be forgoing the services for the entire day. The badge will be removed at midnight on November 1.
"Electing to shutdown social communication mirrors autistic silence. But it also draws attention to the isolation and intense loneliness experienced by those who are impeded from connecting socially with others," says Rachael Harris, a counsellor who is on the autism spectrum. "The CHAPP is a powerful way to create a sense of empathy towards those on the autism spectrum."
If you know anyone with a child who has autism or have one yourself, you know how many struggles they are faced with in addition to all the typical challenges of childhood. The more people who are aware of the disease, the more understanding and supportive we can be as a society.
Think you can do it? Go an entire day without checking Facebook or tweeting what you eat?
Don't worry, if your withdrawal is too strong, you can still lurk and keep up with what others are saying. But if you can avoid it altogether, you may be amazed at the extra hours in your day!
Akin to the breast cancer purse status campaign earlier this month, this is a bit more straightforward, and it has the added aspect of raising not only awareness, but money for the cause as well. But both are good examples of how effective social media can be in promoting a charitable cause.
It's likely we'll see many more campaigns like them in the future, which is welcome. As much time as many of us spend on the sites, we might as well do some good while we're at it.
Will you shut down on November 1 to support autism awareness?
Image via Facebook