As Facebook’s cursed week rolled on, its stock took a deep dive on Monday, as did other tech stocks.
There were several reasons, but Facebook was hardest hit because it suffered its worst service outage ever. Its social media subsidiaries Instagram and What’s App were also out of service. For a while, not only could users not log on, but Facebook employees couldn’t access their email, and some reportedly couldn’t even get past the "smart" security systems to enter their offices. The sites were eventually restored after it was discovered to have been caused by a glitch in configuration changes that had a “cascading effect” on the way its data centers communicate. Whatever that means.
The positive news was how many people openly celebrated the welcome absence of Facebook, Instagram and What’s App from our lives, even if it was only for one blessed day. Some of them celebrated it on Twitter, not seeing the irony.
The Babylon Bee had a field day with headlines such as, “Hackers warn that if demands aren’t met, they will reactivate Facebook.” And “In major disaster for humanity, Facebook comes back online.” It’s funny because it’s true.
Years ago, “The Simpsons,” which has accurately predicted many things, like Trump becoming President, predicted what happened on Monday. You can see it here:
(Okay, technically, that was what happened when kids turned off the TV, but the results were the same.)
But in all seriousness, this outage did offer some valuable lessons, among them: we rely far too much on social media, which has some positives but a lot of negatives. Also, if it’s going to be part of our lives, then it’s a bad idea to rely on any one platform for our news or communications. We know how Facebook, Twitter and other giant platforms skew what we’re allowed to see and censor what we’re allowed to say. Then, because of their near monopolies, it’s a serious problem when they go down.
The best solution (short of government intervention that will not happen as long as Democrats are in charge and benefiting from the unfair slant) is diversification. I’m on Facebook and Twitter, but I’m also on as many other alternative platforms as possible, like Parler, and their numbers are growing. I also keep my own website, just in case.
The only advice I can give you is to have real friends, seek out reliable independent sources of information (like this newsletter), and live your life so that you wouldn’t miss Facebook or the others if they did go away. If enough people did that, their influence would dwindle and life might once again be as pleasant and peaceful as it was for a brief period on Monday.