Damien Bradfield who runs Present Plus and WeTransfer reached out to us to create a day of social media silence. He was motivated after observing how social media platforms have exacerbated mental health issues and reduced our face to face interactions.
We were tasked with creating a special day that would help people take a break from social media. What emerged was Empty Day. In choosing the name, we were interested in transforming the meaning of empty from vacancy or absence to a spaciousness that could be filled with meaning. We saw social media as the opposite of emptiness; it was full of things that didn't contribute to people's well-being and always required our attention. We pondered what it would be like if the streets (feeds) of social media were empty for just one day.
Over the course of the project we came up with several bylines and phrases to describe the project...
a day of no social media
social media is like the weather. it's always changing.
find your place in the weather.
lets turn social media into a forest for one day
leaf social media. join the forest.
Later on in the project, the identity focused around the shape of leaves. We asked people across social media to transform their avatar into a leaf to help spread the word about Empty Day. Soon our feeds became full of leaves, creating a unique forest of people pledging their participation in Empty Day. This aligned with our goal of creating a day of social media silence that everyone could identify with and take part in.
Other symbols we investigated:
a key: unlock empty day
just the letter "e"
Explore the website: https://emptyday.today/
↑ A leaf camera app for a phone.
↑ People pledging their support by transforming their avatars into leaves with our tool.
In collaboration with: Laurel Schwulst
Photography: Jason Fulford, Ethan Skates