The memes were being created as Facebook and Instagram went dark yesterday for a longer time than users felt comfortable with. People cleaned out junk drawers, met deadlines, and fiddled around with Twitter. Also, there was no need to make dinner plates presentable and treadmills were available at the local gyms. I think we all started to wonder what a world without social media would be like, one without blurry, noseless photos and ignorant arguments by chest-pounding warriors of the keys.
We click agree on new apps and products too often like camera apps, Candy Crush, and even on our bank accounts, but they never have to agree to our terms, and they promise us nothing. I thought of that yesterday. What if Zuckerberg and pals decided to just turn it all off for good? He has that right.
I watched this documentary called The Social Dilemma on Netflix last year. I recommend everyone watch it. People who used to work for places like Google and Facebook start talking, and what they say is plain old creepy.
My greatest concern was my photos. I do have them all backed up on external hard drives and they’re all snuggled in fire safes, but that’s all the photos. Facebook has the best photos, of course, right? They are organized by date and they are trimmed, and only the best ones were chosen to show the world we’re doing OK.
I also began to think about businesses and how many people these days use Facebook to advertise. (I really need to be a more active presence on Twitter.) I thought of specific people and wondered if we would be in touch beyond the occasional LIKE or the daily, genuine comment such as, “We need to meet up for lunch.” I do love to know what’s going on with people I once knew.
I also thought about this snake venom group I am part of, where experts will help you with snake bites from all sorts of species like rattlers, copperheads, and cottonmouths. I’ve been learning so much on that page. What if one of us is bitten and I can’t use that page to save our lives!
I tend to deactivate my Facebook at least once a year, and I take it off my phone and take months-long breaks from it, but I do like having it. Instagram, too, can be fun and it’s not loaded with great political divides and crabby people like FB. It’s just nice to know it’s all there, and then it’s not. It can be quite jarring.
Social media is too much like the Hotel California. We do check out all the time, whenever we like, but no matter how hard we try, we just can’t leave.
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