A Social Media Moment of Silence?

Just an interesting article I recently came across: “Reinventing Memorial Day: Solutions for Silence and Sacrifice” . It may not be relevant to us in Australia but it’s still an interesting new way to hold a remembrance for our fallen heroes – and this could apply to any of us anywhere in the world – through social media.

The writer, Steve McCallion, suggested a “Social Media Moment of Silence”.

Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing. Is it possible that we could come together as a country to do nothing? … Today is all about social media, TV, radio…24/7, always on. Can we turn off for Memorial Day?

What if we called for a Social Media Moment of Silence? Given the central role electronic communication plays in the lives of Americans, especially American youth, abstaining from it for even a moment constitutes a very real sacrifice. At 6:00pm EST (18:00, when “Taps” is played at the end of the military day) we could have Americans across all time zones make a final tweet or status update, reading simply “Remembering Memorial Day,” perhaps accompanied by a yellow-hued avatar to drive the point home. Those with a specific person to memorialize would follow the word “Remembering” with the name of their fallen friend or relative. Twitter and Facebook users could leave this statement just before going silent, so their friends’ screens are filled with multiple iterations of this simple message.

It would be interesting to see if this could actually happen in the future. You never know. There’s Earth Hour every year and all the major cities already take part in that. To have something like a countrywide memorial service held through social media would really be fascinating and would take us up a new level in the use of social media, or rather, the non-use of social media. To say that abstaining from social media is a very real sacrifice for us is actually quite true for most people, I think.

Well, for one in five workers, having Facebook at work is more important than their job. An article by news.com.au today stated that “… one in five workers said they would turn down a job if it was at a workplace that blocked access to websites like Facebook”. That was a bit shocking, especially at a time like this, but wow social media has really taken over some of our lives! To choose Facebook over a job is huge, but I actually think turning off social media for a memorial would be really unique and meaningful to a certain extent, simply because social media is a big part of our lives and would make a memorial much more significant. So I do hope something like this happens in the future. Now that social media is so integrated into our daily lives that it’s as if switching it off can be like putting our heads down in silence for a moment of prayer, in what other ways can social media be used to signify other important events  in real life?


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