On the 4th of October Facebook went down and access was restricted across all Facebook platforms including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. To be honest, I wasn’t too heartbroken about the outage, but I can see where frustration lay in terms of communication for many people.
My evening without access to Facebook and Instagram wasn’t that different to the usual. In lieu of the absent-minded scrolling that has become part of my daily routine, I found that I had additional free time. I resorted to a book and an early night. I enjoyed my evening “offline” as I felt I had an excuse to stay away from social media and could be productive instead.
In other cases, many people just clicked onto Tik Tok and Twitter, which were thriving in the absence of Instagram.
The following morning, all was up and running again. Many influencers that I follow were addressing the outage and many commented about the freedom they felt when the platforms went down. The idea of an evening “offline” was a foreign concept for those who have a significant presence on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. When your income is dependent on social media platforms, you are going to have a stronger opinion when it crashes.
Some of these influencers and social media personalities mentioned they felt refreshedand recharged after the evening. It makes sense. When you stop and think about it, how often do influencers get a break from work? Influencing online is essentially a 24/7 job and they don’t stop at 5pm. While it may be easy to switch off your computer after a day at the office, the same can’t be said for Instagram – which is used for both work and entertainment.
An evening like the night of the 4th truly reminds us of how subconsciously addicted we are to social media. There is so much talk these days about the importance of living a ‘real’ life and not a life online, but many people have still failed to get the memo. The idea of switching off isn’t a common thought and living without Instagram seems unbearable for many. Our society has undoubtedly become engulfed by social media, and it doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon.
With many people commenting on how refreshed they felt without social media, it demonstrates that sometimes we all need to switch off and take a well-deserved break back to reality.
Making a conscious effort not to get sucked in and live a “real life” will have its benefits for everyone.