Tomorrow, March 24, is Shutdown Day. Just what is Shutdown Day? Well, to put it simply, Shutdown Day is an experiment to see how many people will agree to not use a computer for one whole day, and what, if any effects will be seen by this initiative. As of 1:30 EST on the 23rd, the counters on the Shutdown Day Web site show 54,483 people agreeing to shut down for the day and 8,684 saying no way. Now for me, the fact that Shutdown Day is happening on a Saturday means that there is a very good chance that I will actually be participating, but not because it’s Shutdown Day. I’ll be participating because on most Saturdays (and Sundays) I never turn on my computer. Between house and yard work, social events and just relaxing, I’m often too busy to use the computer on weekends and typically only do if there’s a specific thing I need (like directions somewhere). Of course there are people out there who fit the definition of Internet addicts and for these people it will be an interesting experiment to take a day off, though I doubt it will have any long-lasting effects for most. My main problem with this experiment is that it kind of lumps Internet and computer usage in with things like watching too much TV. But using a computer and the Internet can be extremely educational and fulfilling. Has anyone ever proposed a “Take a Day Off from Reading A Book” Day? Or a “Don’t Learn Anything New Today” Day? (actually there are unfortunately people out there for whom both of these are just a normal day) To me, saying “don’t use the Internet for a day” is sort of like saying “don’t read a book for a day”. So I can’t say that I’m totally in favor of Shutdown Day. But for all of you participating, good luck. I’ll be with you in action, if not in spirit.