Facebook Doesn't Owe You Anything
Where were you when Zuck lost billions in one day?
If you didn’t know, Facebook experienced the biggest outage since 2008 last week.
IF you didn’t notice, or were not affected by the outage across Facebook’s companies (Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp) that’s actually really impressive.
The outage affected 3 billion people. Billion, with a ‘b’. That’s a 1/3 of the world’s population. And it was only down for six hours.
For better or worse, I was one of those people.
Regardless of what social media I use personally, I manage social media for a living. Spending my day on Facebook and Instagram is literally my job. And I communicate with my team on Whatsapp. So last Monday’s outage meant I couldn’t do my job, or talk to my team.
Did that stress me out? Not really.
Because no one else could post on Facebook or Instagram either. And email still existed for my team.
For someone who spends 8+ hours a day on social media for work, the outage was a glorious break.
I was almost relieved. I love my job, but the constant scrolling can take its toll.
What the outage revealed is just how dependent most of the world is on Facebook for staying connected.
In fact, the government of Mexico couldn’t communicate - they rely on Facebook’s ecosystem.
I was going to say imagine one company having that much global reach and making an entire government a sitting duck. But we don’t really have to imagine it. It’s real.
Social media has changed the way we live our lives. It’s created incredible opportunities for people. Entire new industries, careers, and connections have been created that previously would have never been though possible.
I don’t dispute the positive power of social media. Without it, I wouldn’t have a job. I also wouldn’t be able to write to you lovely people. And I wouldn’t get to enjoy this tiny corner of the internet that we’ve created for ourselves.
But social media also has its dark side, which Facebook allegedly knows.
This latest outage has really highlighted how dependent we are on Facebook.
If you’re a small business owner who lost sales because of the outage - I feel for you. As a new small business owner myself, I get it.
If you were frustrated because you lost contact with friends and family during the outage, I get that too.
But I think we need to remember something - Facebook doesn’t owe us anything.
Despite it’s ubiquity in our lives - it’s not a government service we are entitled to or should expect reliable service from.
It’s a free service that makes money off of our attention.
And somehow, we’ve forgotten that.
Should one company have that much power over how we communicate with each other with very little government oversight? Nope. Not even a little bit.
Did you notice the outage? Did it stress you out or did you make the most of it?
Let me know in the comments!
Until next time, keep living that tiny life.
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