Who are you sticking it to?

Earlier today I saw a comment on Astrid van Woerkom’s blog in response to a criticism of the “communication shutdown” wheeze from various autism chairites. There has been much criticism of the scheme here as well as on various autistic/Asperger’s blogs, about the fact that going without Facebook et al for a day doesn’t adequately simulate autism and that it cuts off people who need the sites for their social lives for other reasons. The comment read:

How could anyone object to the abolishment of social media, even if it is for just one day!?

It sounds like this guy just think social networking sites are a big corporate scheme to take over everybody’s lives and monitor people’s every move so they know what to try and sell to you and when (among other things). People think it’s a good thing to put a dent in a big company’s profits, but the last I read about Twitter was that it costs money to run and isn’t profitable. Facebook does make money from advertising and pointless picture gifts, but the bulk of what it provides is free, including keeping a wall and sending messages. If you don’t want to do something through Facebook, you and your friend can take it to private email or some other means. But anyway, a lot of what we do results in some big company turning a profit, even you reading this article, or buying the computer (whoever did buy it orignally) you use for the purpose, whether the company was Apple or Dell or HP or whoever.

The real losers from this scheme won’t be Facebook or Twitter; it will be the people who rely on them for keeping in touch with their friends. There are plenty of good ways to fight the corporate “man” than to not log into your social network for a day. The point is that to fight a disability-related campaign this way is to isolate people with this and other disabilities who rely on social networking sites such as Facebook, LiveJournal and others for any kind of a social life, either because of difficulties communicating face-to-face caused by autism, or being housebound or bedbound.

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