On March 13, 2019, Facebooks entire server for a vast number of people shut down. Leaving Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp not working for all these people (myself included)! It was unprecedented.
Just think about the number of hours that people spend on average, on Facebook, every single day. Or the number of people who depend on Facebook to run their business?
Where were you during the Facebook shutdown of 2019? How did you feel? Did you have a much needed and greatly enjoyed day off, or did you stress about your lack of access to the world?
If you had looked at twitter on the day, people all over the world were having meltdowns. Woe to the people of the world without their social media connections.
However, my instagram feed looked quite different the following day. Friends were sharing about their magical days unplugged.
Why Were People So Happy
All these posts from my friends on the following day, expressing their satisfaction after having a Facebook-free day really got me thinking. Why were they so happy?
What if it was just their Facebook?
The first question that came to my mind was, how would these same people be responding if it was just their Facebook that wasn’t working and not everybody’s?
Was there a feeling of freedom accompanying the shutdown because of the collective experience? Would that dreaded fear-of-missing-out have played more of a role if it was just one person’s Facebook that had gone down.
I know for myself, I use Facebook and Instagram to run my business, to market, and to connect with my audience. When it all went down yesterday, what was frustrating, was the feeling of being disconnected
Why did we need a server shutdown for a day of freedom?
Probably the most important question we can ask is why it took being forced off of social media for us to take the time for our friends and family? I mean, look at how HAPPY everyone on my instagram feeds were.
Don’t we want that kind of happiness more often? How tied to our social media feeds are we?
It really makes me wonder what our lives would be like if even one day a week was social media free, as if the Facebook server shut down all over again.
The Ones Who Didn’t Notice
There were friends of mine that reached out and said “I didn’t even know Facebook shut down for the day!” Part of me is thinking, “what a wonderful existence.” But when it comes down to it, I don’t care if I notice a Facebook shut own or not.
The important part about all of it to me is that it doesn’t take a day of being shut out to have the best day ever. My hope is that I create those days for myself. Life, in my eyes, is all about balance.
You can most certainly enjoy the benefits of being connected to people around the world (especially if you are a world traveller), while still maintaining your grip on reality and worrying less about image maintenance and more about real, authentic community.
What Was March 13 for Me?
As for myself. What was March 13, 2019 for me? It was freedom. I have to be honest, running a business and trying to build it, it requires a lot of my attention.
There was a freedom for me, knowing that no one else could be on anyway… so, providing content wasn’t going to be relevant for the day. It was like an impromptu day off.
However, I did also learn some valuable lessons about making sure I had ways to communicate with the people who I needed to and for some reason had limited our connection to instagram (insert face palm here).
Social media is fun for me. I love connecting with all of you, I love sharing what I do, I love providing something of value… but I think all of us as content creators underestimate what it can take out of us. From there, we can majorly underestimate our need to balance our real lives and invest into the things that really matter first and foremost.
So, to sum it up. March 13th was a reminder to me, it was a reminder to all of us… Remember what really matters in life. There’s so much good that social media provides, but if we are posting the day after a shutdown that we had such an incredibly beautiful day, there is some re-evaluating that needs to happen.
What about you? What was the Facebook shutdown of 2019 for you? What did you learn? I would love to hear from you in the comments!