Facebook's Downfall. A Blessing in Disguise?
Social media. A stress reliever or stress inducer? Social media consumes our everyday lives, and one event recently shocked the world. On October 4th, Facebook and Facebook-ran apps experienced a shutdown. Facebook's fiasco led to many new conclusions, including a new outlook on social media and the negative effects it has on us.
People lose many hours every day to their addiction to social media. Along with the addiction comes a false reality with constant hate and harassment. There is a daily conversation around how Facebook is a place full of misinformation and hatred. While many of us may have suspected this, recent whistleblower testimony before Congress has revealed some very dark allegations: Facebook knows that it cultivates addictive behavior and intentionally feeds negative information to its users. Facebook and Instagram, its subsidiary app, have been very closed off when disclosing more information about negative effects, but we can form conclusions ourselves.
We sent out a survey to determine how people feel about social media and further growth of its harmful culture:
A stunning 27% of respondents described their social media use as an addiction. We have to constantly pick up our phones just to mindlessly scroll through social media.
Almost 22% of respondents say that they spend over 5 hours on social media each day.
We were led to the conclusion that social media becomes an addiction in teens as well as a stress inducer.
Is there that much to look at on social media? The tactics of social media creators to get as much app usage as possible appears to be working on teens but it may be working too well. Sophomore Will Stephens sheds light on this issue, “Social media has had a negative impact on me because of the amount of time I have wasted using it.” Whether intentional or not, we all waste time scrolling on social media, highlighting the effective tactics they put in place. The shut down, for many, was a shock, but a much-needed one. During the six hours of downtime from Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, many felt refreshed and freed from social media’s effects. It is important to look back on this time and realize how life felt during those hours of quiet. This feeling can be a point of reflection for people on how social media is consuming their life, and allow them to ponder the key takeaways from the whistleblower.
In those few hours, much happened out of Facebook's control, which led to their harmful intentions being disclosed in a much worse fashion than they could have hoped. Another staggering statistic from the Facebook fiasco: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, lost approximately 6 billion dollars during these few short hours. This statistic furthers the argument that Facebook is heavily dependent on its users, so much so that they previously decided to be quiet about its negative effects. In the end, do we really miss social media?