Digital Detox

Virtually every simplicity or self-care article talks about the benefit of a ‘digital detox’.  Recommendations range from taking a chunk of time off from social media to putting social media on a schedule of 30 minutes a day (instead of a steady diet).

On Monday, we had digital detox of sorts when Facebook and it’s related platforms went dark, i.e. #facebookdown. I think the platforms were down for about 5 hours total.

I am not a Facebook user.  It would probably be nice to see what friends are up to, but I know myself.  I would quickly get distracted and go down a variety of rabbit holes. Facebook abstinence is best for me. 

I am a pretty big Instagram follower.  I love to post pictures and follow a number of family, friends, and people I wish were my friends 😊.

I was irritated on Monday when Instagram was down.  First I thought there was something wrong with my phone. It was our daughter’s birthday and I wanted to see what posted to wish her well.

But it was just that for me, an irritation.

Then I started seeing headlines about the outage creating worldwide chaos.  This NYT article sums it up well.  

I didn’t realize how much of the globe ‘runs’ on these platforms.  In many parts of the world, particularly India, Africa and Latin America, Facebook and it’s related apps are THE internet and their primary currency for commerce and communication.

Worldwide, 2.76 billion people on average used at least one Facebook product each day this June, according to the company’s statistics. WhatsApp is used to send more than 100 billion messages a day and has been downloaded nearly six billion times since 2014, when Facebook bought it, according to estimates from the data firm Sensor Tower.

Raymond Zhong and Adam Satariano, New York Times, 10/5/21

Seriously, Facebook is down for 5 hours and it causes global chaos!

I am cheering Congress on and hope they can get it together to put some reasonable oversight and regulations in place for Facebook and ‘Big Tech’ overall. That could be a global benefit.



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