What I Learned When Social Media Crashed | Avi Gutfreund

WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram all went down for much of Monday. Aside from all the jokes made about the crash, the worst since 2008 for Facebook, I had a realization that I hope others had as well.

During the crash, TLS ran three polls – one asking if people missed WhatsApp, another asking if they miss Facebook, and third asking whether they miss Instagram. The results were fascinating and enlightening.

62% of people said they missed WhatsApp. This makes sense because the messaging app is many people’s primary way of communicating with others. But the results from the polls about Facebook and Instagram were quite different.

88% of poll respondents said they didn’t miss Facebook, and 71% said they didn’t miss Instagram. Think about that for a minute.

Presumably, many of the people who responded on the polls have access to and accounts on Facebook or Instagram. Presumably, many of them spend significant amounts of time on those social media platforms. Yet the overwhelming majority of social media users said they didn’t miss it!

What this shows us so clearly is how badly we need to disconnect ourselves from the endless barrage of negativity, false positivity, and general insanity that exists on social media.

We turn to social media for ideas, to waste time, and to see what others are up to. But we give little thought to how those apps affect us, especially our mental health. Almost nobody is happier because they are on social media.

Just today, a whistleblower who is a former Facebook employee testified before Congress, telling lawmakers that the company knows the negative effects the Facebook and Instagram platforms are for people’s mental health, and that they could take steps to make it better, but they don’t because they put their “immense profits before people.” The social media companies themselves know the harm they are causing you, even if you don’t.

The outage yesterday hopefully opened up some people’s eyes. While social media was down life went on. While social media was down, people got a break from the endless, mindless chatter and vanity of those platforms. While social media was down, many people actually lived for a few hours.

Maybe a break from social media is all your really need.

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  1. The numbers show most people are using it responsibly, so much so that when it goes down it doesn’t bother them.
    I have no idea how the author figures most not missing it means we need to put it down. Its quite the illogical argument.
    If you are using it responsibly, enjoy the occasional distraction.

    • Wow, im so happy that you are looking with a positive outlook to others, but when u ask others to be honest, they will say the main reason they go on is bcz of…..FOMO! Fear of missing out! so they were thrillllled that it was down for a little so they cld just live life in the meantime!! I think a/o who understands ppl will agree that in the longterm ppl who abstain from this “occasional distraction”, as u called it, will be healthier ppl.

  2. I decided last year to take two weeks off of social media for a school project, and after those two weeks, redownloading Instagram and Facebook in particular never crossed my mind. I couldn’t believe how much better my mental health was without it.

  3. there are a ton of people that are addicted that don’t know or won’t admit it. i was listening yesterday to a non political talk show (a weak spot of mine) and one of the hosts said ( they were not discussing this whole facebook watsapp thing) they recently deleted one of their social media accounts because of addictive use. a couple of years ago an executive of one of these social media companies stated that ( if i remember correctly) an average user is on it for a few hours a day. i think it is pretty clear that an enormousamount of people are hooked to them and are having their lives destroyed. it so hapens that they supposedly just came out with thousands of pages of evidence that facebook knows about this. if it was a minute number it would not be a whole ruckus.

  4. ויהי כל הארץ שפה אחת
    In this week’s Parasha Hashem takes down the Migdal Bavel uniting everyone in their rebellion against Him.
    והמבין יבין

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