Facebook and Instagram down for a couple hours. Now what?

The world notices when media apps are down, but isn’t there more to life?

Photo Courtesy | Stephalee31
Child plays on phone while sitting in a booster seat.

What happens if we go without Instagram or Facebook? Well, last Monday, we found out.

Facebook and Instagram were suffering from widespread outages. A Facebook spokesperson talked about these outages on Twitter, saying, “We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible and we apologize for any inconvenience.” 

While Instagram and Facebook were out for a few hours, it made me think of how much time we spend on our phones — specifically with Facebook and Instagram. What if we changed that? What if we spent less time on our phones and more time with the people around us?  

It is good to take a break from the media, such as Facebook and Instagram or anything else that you consider “media.” There are times when we get too caught up in the likes, comments and what everyone around us is up to. When this happens, we forget to check on ourselves.  

“The most common issues associated with college students’ mental health and social media issue is depression, anxiety, low-self-esteem, body image, sleeping problems, social isolation and emotional difficulties,” says mvorganizing.org, a knowledge base site. 

If you’re on social media a lot and are struggling with some of these common issues, maybe it is time to take a break from the media.  

For me, taking a break from the media means deleting my Instagram and Facebook app for a little while. This summer, I deleted these apps for a large portion of the summer and let me tell you — my mental health was so much better, and I had less of these common issues that are associated with college students.  

“There are times when we get too caught up in the likes, comments and what everyone around us is up to. When this happens, we forget to check on ourselves.”

I challenge you to quit social media for a day. Take a day this month, delete your social media apps and enjoy the people around you or spend time with yourself. On this day, try to appreciate the small things and the time you get with your friends and family.  

Studies by SCL Health show that social media can have a negative effect on your life satisfaction and subjective well-being. What if we changed this? What if we took time to spend outside, with our family and friends or doing something that makes us happy? I am sure that our lives would feel more satisfying, we would have higher self-esteem and we would be much happier.  

Life can and will get better. Maybe just start with a small thing such as deleting social media apps for a day. If you see this working well for you, maybe try to do this a couple times a month or at least once a week.  

The Happiness Research Institute has found that people on Facebook have trouble concentrating, feel less present and thought they were wasting their time at a higher rate than their peers who were not using Facebook. 

Let’s stop wasting our time and get off the media for at least a couple days a month or once a week. If we do this, we will have so much more time to spend with those we love, more time to focus on ourselves and more time to do what we love — that does not include the media.  

Life is so short and so precious, why are we freaking out if Instagram and Facebook are down for just a couple hours? There is so much more to life than the likes we get on social media or the amount of people who wish you a happy birthday on your timeline or through Instagram stories.  

SCL Health says that young adults who check social media more frequently and for more time have greater sleep disturbances. Don’t you want a good night’s sleep? Take a day off the media and maybe you will just sleep better and have a better day.  

So, I dare you to take a day off from the media and note how you feel. Whatever media is to you, take a break from it. It might be weird at first but it’s totally worth it. Life is precious, take a break from the media for a while. 

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