For nearly six hours on Monday, Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp were shut down and people were not taking it well. What happened? An upgrade to Facebook’s routers that coordinate network traffic went awry, causing a slew of problems throughout the company’s infrastructure. As a result, Facebook was virtually shut down all across the world.
The Facebook outage, despite momentary, demonstrated how dependent we are on social media in many ways to divert ourselves, escape, connect, and manage with anxiety and stress. When individuals can’t scroll and post as often as they used to, they might get bored and exposed to tough emotions and stresses, which they don’t always know how to deal with.
“”People definitely have a fear of missing out,” Kerner explained. Losing or breaking a phone, or having a phone die can cause folks to panic, he said, as it prevents them from knowing what’s happening and being connected to others.”From the CNN article, “Facebook went offline this week. Experts say we should log out, too”
“I think some of us realized yesterday, ‘I’m way over-involved and invested in social media in my life’,” Duffy said. People realized that “maybe I can check this once or twice a day instead of 20 or 30 times a day.”From the CNN article, “Facebook went offline this week. Experts say we should log out, too”
Despite the fact that “social media addiction” is not currently recognized by the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” Lembke, a medical director and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, told CNN that she believes social media can be addictive, based on her clinical experience and understanding of the relationship between human connection and dopamine release. “We can verifiably show that human connections stimulate dopamine release, which is how they are reinforcing, and anything that stimulates dopamine in the brain’s reward pathway has the potential to be addictive”(Lemke). The introduction of social media created a new form of entertainment and communication that could be accessed anywhere and therefore caused isolation in the fear of missing out on what is new.
Because they don’t feel connected, individuals who use social media the most are the loneliest. There’s something missing in that connection, whether they’re texting others, commenting on their postings, or posting themselves. It’s true that it’s digital, and it’s not in any way personal. However, not all internet interactions are bad, just as not all in-person interactions are good. There are times when our online relationships are more intimate, positive, and strong in positive ways than our real-life relationships. Going to a cocktail party and engaging in only shallow conversation isn’t going to make anyone feel good. We have an opportunity to reconsider how we interact with one another in the real world as some suffer with social anxiety while in-person life slowly restarts.