Has the Social Media Outage Proved You’re Addicted to the Platforms?
Has there been a better opportunity to seek mindfulness within ourselves?
If you’re like me, you’ve probably scrolled down your Instagram feed today, and then carried on with your day. Upon returning to your feed, you then realized there’s no new content, and the last post uploaded over nine hours ago.
It’s the same with IG Stories.
It turns out it’s the same with Facebook, WhatsApp, and Esty. Even Twitter was affected for several hours in some parts of the world. The longest social media outage since records began has also affected Facebook’s own Oculus Rift Virtual Reality platform.
In short, Facebook’s entire family of apps is expecting a few problems, to say the least.
Of course, with Twitter still functioning and no real publicized reason as to why the outages are taking place (although Facebook has declared it’s not related to a DDOS hacking attack), people are quick to voice their opinions.
Now, I’m sure Facebook has lost millions of dollars today in ad revenue and all the other ways they make money, so they’re probably not in a happy place. Yet, I can safely say with all their billions; I don’t feel sorry for them.
On the other hand, scrolling one of Twitter’s related tags; #InstagramDown, #WhatsAppDown, etc., paints a different picture.
Granted, the people trending on these hashtag pages are joking about the situation, but behind every joke is an element of truth. Take a look at some of the other people on your Twitter feeds, and you’ll notice similar tweets, only this time, they’re not so funny.
How many times have you logged into one of the apps to see if it’s working?
Coincidentally, Casey Neistat, a popular vlogger and film-maker with over 10 million subscribers on YouTube, uploaded a video today titled ‘Goodbye Social Media’. In this short, he describes how it spends over seven hours a day on his smartphone, averaging an hour on Instagram and an hour on Twitter alone.
He states how he can’t justify his actions for work purposes, and he admits most of his time is spent mindlessly scrolling — something he hates to admit.
It’s something we all hate to admit.
I believe myself to be quite a productive person most of the time, but I’m a sucker when it comes to having my phone next to me. Completely out of the blue, I’ll pick up my phone and start mindlessly scrolling.
Emphasis on the ‘mindlessly’ because it can truthfully be described as ‘a shocking revelation’ when I become mindful and realize what I’m doing.
Sometimes, I don’t even remember picking up my device.
I’ve been mindful with my devices before, and I’ve written about this and made videos on the subject in the past, but this time is different.
While putting your phone in a top drawer and trying to forget about works for a bit, not being able to access the platforms at all presents absolutely no way of getting the fix.
Be mindful of how you’re spending your time.
Whether you’ve tried to be mindful of how much you use social media in the past or not, this is an opportunity to see how much of a role social media really plays in your life.
How are you affected by it? Are you endless checking your phone to see whether it’s back, or are you making the most of the social media outage and enjoying your life?
Are you resenting the social media break forced upon you, or does it feel like a breath of fresh air?
There are so many approaches to this conversation, but as some food for thought;
- Instead of waiting for IG to load back up, why not spend some time reading the book you were going to start, or perhaps even making a start on the one you were going to write yourself?
- Have you ever considered starting mediation but haven’t found the time? Here’s a few hours spare!
- Does your business or brand rely on IG and FB to get customers and revenue? What happens if the platforms disappear overnight? Today proves it can. Is it time to diversify?
- Similar to the point above, if a platform can go down for nine hours, it can go down for nine years. How reliant are you on it?
- Do you think today has shown you the true face of your relationship with social media, or did you not think about it until now?
While it’s interesting to see how the world reacts to global social media outages, I believe it’s more important to take this time to look within ourselves and use this opportunity to view our own relationships with technology and become vigilant of the way we are — a side of us we may not have realistically looked at before.