On Wednesday, March 13th, users worldwide got a taste of a world without Facebook and Instagram. Starting at around 11 AM, both apps were down; Instagram profiles refused to load and Facebook news feeds refused to refresh. It was quite interesting seeing how everything played out. A Facebook spokesperson publicized that a “server configuration change triggered a cascading series of issues, resulting in difficulties accessing apps and services.” Both applications were fully restored by Thursday around 1 PM. The response was both predictable and extraneous. Users were left unable to check on their friends’ latest Instagram story updates and were in absolute disbelief. Some backlash even described the tragic time away from the applications as an experience of grief. When users realized they were unable to access Facebook and Instagram, a majority of them flocked to Twitter, where they posted indeed about how much they missed Instagram and Facebook.
During the time of the intermittent power-down of both applications, I was on Spring Break with my college friends. It was so interesting to see how this situation played out in a social context. “Why can’t I post this picture?” “I keep refreshing the feed but nothing is working.” “I cannot believe this.” My friends’ reactions all revealed just how addicted my generation is to endlessly scrolling and “fruitlessly searching for updates.” We could not even last a mere 24 hours without access to these platforms.