Somewhere last week, there was a worldwide standstill. To some, it felt like their most precious diamond had been stolen from them. Others felt like they had been unjustifiably confined to solitude while others simply did not know how to put their exact emotions into words.

There was also a minority who like the innocence of a child did not even know something was going on. These ones just lived their lives as they always did. But for those who had been strongly hit, it generally felt like something they were entitled to have been taken away from them.

In case you are in the minority group, I am talking about the near 24-hour shut down of Facebook all its affiliated social media platforms.

The ungodly hours were as unexpected as the biblical rapture to serial users of these platforms with many almost losing their minds about it. In truth, even the average user of these platforms can hardly deny that the shutdown affected them due to how much they have become a constant part of our everyday life.

This brings me to the question of whether we have slowly and unconsciously allowed ourselves to become addicted to the use of social media. In defence, some may allude that social media in this era, is more than just a communication platform.

Addiction

It is both an avenue to attract their means of livelihood as well as being the livelihood itself. That is, some go on social media to advertise their brands to gain customers while others earn income just by being online. So to such a group, not being on social media for that long can be likened to being locked out of the office.

But then again, the office worker is quick to appreciate some holidays and breaks because he or she knows the therapeutic effects of rest.

So while it may have been unsettling, the moment could have been used to catch a break from the incessant pressures and demands of the social media world. This feeling is absent for the social media user, probably because seeing it as a work is a mask to how they really see it.

The sense of public approval, the feeling of self-satisfaction and the need to constantly connect people who give us attention without necessarily knowing us.

Addiction

In perspective, that’s actually how an addictive drug makes you feel. You are super high and feel in charge when you are on it, making you lose touch with the actual realities of life.

But one thing this shut down taught us is that no matter what we do on these apps, we eventually have to come back to deal with the real issues of life. They should therefore not be used as substitutes for what life has to offer.

If we use it for business purposes, we should understand that even the biggest of businessmen have bad days at the office.

In fact, it was reported that Mark Zuckerberg lost about $7bn due to the incident. This is probably more than anyone lost during that period. So just a few hours of the non-existence of social media would not necessarily lead to the collapse of your brand.

If it is for personal purposes, we should know that there are times in our everyday lives that we fail to hear from our friends. So a few hours, of not posting memes or having messages flooding our inboxes should not be the end of the world.

The main issue has to do with how we view the role social media plays in our lives. Once that is corrected, every disturbance which is possible in our flawed world would not be seen as a thinkable calamity.

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