Click, send, call, text, Like, tweet, undo, reset, delete... it just doesn't end. Which is why a couple of marketing guys are dubbing September 18 "No Device Day" for consumers who might be too involved with their gadgets.
Though the idea of dedicating an entire day to shutting devices off may seem silly (or virtually impossible) to some, Mark DiMassimo, CEO of ad firm Digo, and Eric Yaverbaum say they believe Americans need to be reminded to turn off their electronics from time to time. Thus, their "lifestyle intervention."
They didn't randomly choose September 18 for the latest installment of the larger Offlining ad campaign, though. It's also Yom Kippur, considered by many Jews to be the holiest day of the year. On this day, also known as the Day of Atonement, observant Jews disengage from things like playing on their BlackBerrys, as well as other daily activities like writing, playing instruments, and even eating.
DiMassimo and Yaverbaum are applying the same tradition to No Device Day, but here's their shtick--"You don't have to be Jewish..."
In an attempt to further their persuasion, they've taken photos of Lindsey Lohan, Mel Gibson, and Tiger Woods and plastered on phrases like, "You don't have to be Jewish... to make amends for your tweets on Yom Kippur." That sentiment specifically addresses Lohan's infamously provocative tweets.
To be clear, the aforementioned celebrities haven't signed on to the campaign. Although after Gibson's embarrassing meltdown, he might want to consider it.
The Offlining campaign originally launched on Father's Day of this year to urge people (dads were specifically targeted initially) to turn off their mobile devices and computers and devote some time to good old-fashioned face-to-face interaction. Offlining's founders aren't hesitant to call it a "guilt-tripping campaign.".
The idea isn't to eliminate gadgets from our lives altogether, they say. Instead, they'd like to encourage a healthy balance of online and offline activity.
In addition to No Device Day, the Offlining campaign also encourages families to have 10 no-device dinners between now and Thanksgiving. People who commit to the dinners are asked to take the pledge on Offlining's Web site. More than 10,000 people have already signed up.Not everyone will participate in No Device Day, to be sure, but the campaign day some food for thought: are we too dependent on our gadgets?