The news that Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram shutdown is now an old one. While it was of great concern and we are yet to know why it happened and what caused the shutdown, there is even bigger concerns. And possibly some good lessons we can all learn from this incident.
In the late hours of October 4th 2021, around 4MP WAT, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram stopped working. The actual cause is still unknown as at the time of writing this article but the official twitter handles of the respective social media platforms confirmed the shutdown to be true.
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The shutdown of these three major platforms gave us some lessons about the importance of social media in our lives. So, what are some of the lessons learnt from the shutdown of WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram?
6 lessons learnt from Shutdown of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram
1. Importance of social media
Social media is very important in our life right now and the temporal shutdown of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp just confirmed this. During the time of the shutdown about 3 billion people could not be connected.
Ongoing conversations was paused, unfinished business transactions was paused and the users were forced to use other means to contact each other. Most people have underrated the importance of easy video and audio calls on WhatsApp and Facebook.
Point is, be it you’re for social media or against it, the ease of reaching out to your loved ones and business partner is greatly affected by social media. Well, except you’d prefer sending hand written letters across borders that might take days and sometimes weeks to get to the receiver.
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2. Social media does more than connect relatives
Most people think that social media is just about keeping in touch with distant relatives, friends and loved ones. Well, the temporal shutdown of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp proved there is even more.
Users complained about the shutdown not just because they missed saying “Hello” or “Hi” to a loved one. I mean, picking up your cell phone and dialing a number would solve that. Social media actually does more than just serve as a bridge that connects you to your relatives.
It’s actually the bridge that connects you to the rest of the world. With the temporal shutdown of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, most people were cut out from the rest of the world. No one knew what was happening in other region of the world on the go.
Aside from news, most people also post their businesses on social media and more than 1 billion businesses are using Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram globally. Then we also have online meetings and small groups that got disrupted. Social media is really so much more than most people might think.
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3. Social media addiction
Social media addiction is real and the shutdown of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp confirms this. Barely two hours without these platforms, most users flooded Twitter and trended various hashtags globally – #Facebookdown, #Instagramdown, #WhatsAppdown etc.
Most users complained about these platforms shutdown and quickly moved to alternative social media platform such as Signal, Telegram, and Twitter. It’s obvious that most people cannot do without social media platforms.
To some, it’s just a means to interact with people and make new friends, to others it’s a means to keep in touch with distant relatives with ease, and to others it’s the market place for their business. Whatever you use social media for, you definitely did feel some level of discomfort when Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp shutdown temporarily.
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4. Businesses suffered
With the number of business that relies on Facebook, WhatsApo, and Instagram, there is no telling how much was lost during this temporal shutdown. I mean, think for a minute, over 1 billion businesses not connected to their online customers and potential customers for about 6 hours.
Truth is, businesses that relied of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram did suffer some loss with the temporal shutdown. And maybe these businesses will recover from the losses now that the platforms is back online.
But think for a moment what will happen if all the social media platforms are shutdown. With the number of businesses depending on the audience, then it’ll be quite a scene to behold.
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5. Competition is good
In every space, its competition that usually drives for innovation and improvements. With the temporal shutdown of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp we saw rise in use of other social media platforms. Twitter, Telegran, Signal, and Reddit were all buzzing.
So maybe, just maybe, we won’t miss these top social media platforms if they eventually shutdown. This is because we have alternatives and now that some persons have got a taste of what other social media platform feels like, Facebook is no longer the only option.
With other social media present, users can switch between them if something like this happens in the future. And while a social media platform might be down, other social media will still be keeping people in touch.
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6. We can live without them
Granted, social media is an important part of our modern life but we can actually live without them. Other important things in life such as spending time with a close family member and having those one on one discussion have been missing from some of our lives.
When Facebook shutdown, we lived on and some of us easily find a new way to deal with the reality. So, the temporal shutdown of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp showed that our life does not depend on social media platforms and we can actually survive without them.
This does not mean that these platforms are useless or don’t play some key roles in our modern life. But when shove comes to push, you’ll realize that social media platforms are secondary part of our lives.
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It’s still unclear what happened to Facebook and its siblings that caused the shutdown. We still don’t know if data were breached or something else happened.
But what we do know is that, nothing is forever stable and at some point we’ll experience something like this again. Maybe not from Facebook and its siblings. It might be Google next, or Twitter, Telegram, or even Signal.
At the end, we all need social media platforms but it’s still a secondary part of our lives. These are some of the lessons learnt from the temporal shutdown of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Is there other things we missed? Please use the comment section below.