How Digital Death Saved Lives
Every time you buy life you’re helping millions affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India get the care and support they need to truly live.
A life for a life – or more appropriately, a digital death to save a life – that was the idea behind the “Buy Life” campaign. Major celebs taking a digital death dive, in the pursuit of saving lives.
It started with Alicia Keys – and the slogan was ‘keep a child alive’ – and buy our digital lives back. Keys and her celeb pals stopped their digital lives cold, and there were many – just to name a few: Elijah Wood, Jennifer Hudson, The Kardashian sisters, Kimberly Cole, Pink, Simon Le Bon, Jay Sean, Katie Holmes, Ryan Seacrest, Usher, Lady Gaga and many others got on the ‘digital death’ bandwagon.
They decided that they had to give the world a ‘wake up call’ and in doing so , sacrifice their digital lives, digital social lives that is, until the world bought their lives back. They stopped tweeting and posting on all social media sites until their $1 million dollar goal was reached, they were not putting out a single post.
And they didn’t – they raised the million bucks within a week and that money went to the countries most ravaged by Aids.
If this sounds like a crazy idea – it was, and dying a digital death to raise money has never been done before… but apparently it worked. That million bucks ($1,139,158 to be exact) went to some of the most AIDS ravaged countries: Africa and India.
Nearly every cent went to the ‘Keep a Child Alive” campaign. Their motto: “We are dedicated to providing life-saving AIDS treatment, care, nutrition, support services and love to children and families affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India by directly engaging the global public in the fight against AIDS.”
Numbers glare on the website, 3.4 million people infected with AIDS, worldwide; 30 million people have died from AIDS; 16.6 million children orphaned…. And the realization that on June 5th, 2011 marks 30 years since AIDS was discovered.
A very worthy cause and a successful one at that – but why? Why did these celebrities think that by dying a digital death, it would bring in funds, and what spurred the idea in causing a digital death in order to get what they wanted?
Well, according to Keys, it was a sort of ‘shock treatment’ to do the right thing, and to pay for their celeb daily fix – because most of these celebs have a following in numbers that are astronomical. Lady Gaga has over 16 million followers on Twitter alone, and with those numbers there is no doubt people would pay for their updates.
They would be seriously missed… their daily activities, what they are doing, filming, recording, eating, etc. would no longer be common everyday knowledge for the fans who look forward to this personal information from their favorite singers, musicians and stars.
Keys said: “With the launch of our BUY LIFE campaign, I am confident less people will needlessly have to die because of lack of proper care which means more children will still have parents to raise them and guide them. I’m never more inspired, then when I’m doing this!”
The impact of “Buy Life” and the digital death campaign was to buy hot nutritious meals; essential AIDS care; a place to live; a car; a home for an orphaned child; a housemother for families without parents; education materials; transportation; food, clothing and shelter for those in need, and so much more.
Obviously it is a worthy cause – but why did it work?
With the radical changes in our methods of communication, and the mega rapid growth of social media sites, so fast they can barely keep up, (Facebook at 700 million users now) it is obvious that we are living in the ‘digital’ world, not to mention completely entranced with celebrities.
It worked because of the thrill of being in the everyday lives of some of the most famous celebrities in our world is something that brings a little reality to the ‘flashy’ and wealthy lives these celebs live…. So much so, it’s worth a few bucks.
Not to mention that even though the world is in a recession, most of us still want to contribute to a need or cause that is so necessary and dire – and because the people we adore most, asked us to.