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The News According to Hughes

Get Ready For Shutdown Day!

by Spencer Hughes

20 February 2007

I just got home after a long day and within minutes I was on the internet surfing around for Fox Across America topics and ideas. What did I find? Well, among other things, March 24th is "Shutdown Day"--a day when people are urged to turn off their computers.

It's funny because one of our show topics today was e-mail addiction and whether or not listeners could survive even a few days without e-mail. But not turning your computer on for a whole day is different.

There is NO WAY I could do it. I rely too much on computers for business AND pleasure.

Take my job, for instance. I am on the computer all day and night long. More than 80% of this job is reading, reading, and more reading. I rely on the computer not just for topics, but for communication. I am in constant communication with my crew and boss. I see my callers on the computer screen. I see the latest wire stories on yet another source.

And that doesn't take into account the countless video game sites I love to check out for the latest titles and reviews.

So shutting down my computers is not an option for me. But wait..."Shutdown Day" lands on a Saturday. HUH??

That changes the whole story, doesn't it? I actually CAN survive not using my computers on a Saturday. And you probably could, too. This begs the question: what is the point of this??

Is it really a challenge to not use your computer on a weekend? Isn't that like giving up prime rib after midnight? Or giving up snow skiing in July? Or giving up Christmas carols in May?

This isn't really a challenge at all. But the very fact that a group is asking me to not do something on a given day to prove a point makes me want to do just the opposite.

So count me out. My computer will stay on during "Shutdown Day", the same way my television stays on during "Turn Off Your Television" week. Participating in this experiment won't accomplish anything. When one of these symbolic "days" has an actual point to it, then maybe I will reconsider.

By the way, I AM giving up chocolate for Lent. It was either that or bull fighting, sword swallowing, or growing my hair long.