Are people too reliant on Facebook and other social media platforms?

Zach Blair

Facebook is a dominant entity. With billions of people using the site as a medium to connect with loved ones and run businesses, the criticality of Facebook’s consistent running and ease of usage becomes vital. On Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, Facebook and its owned platforms — Instagram and WhatsApp — let down people all over the world.

Blackouts everywhere; a few hours of nothing for no one: this was the reality of the three latter listed platforms on Monday. For a significant number of people, it was detrimental to their lives.

According to an article posted on the Little Rock News’ website, business owners are now trying to catch up with content, networking, marketing and advertising on their social media sites after the huge outage last week.

This is enough for me to say that, as a society, people and companies have become too reliant on social media. Letting down customers just because one’s faith and dependency is in Facebook and other social media bodies is wholly pathetic.

Multiple websites place Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook’s head honcho, at a net worth of over $100 billion. This fact is enough to show how out of hand things have become for those in charge of these huge systems of media. 

People like Zuckerberg who run these huge social media sites reap the benefits of a system that people flock to for no apparent reason.

Is it easier to communicate in an attempt to reach out to an abundance of people through social media? Yes, sure. But when did newspaper and word-of-mouth seemingly expire?

The normalization of archaic pass around shouldn’t be shied away from. I believe that through that, perhaps people may become closer and more comfortable with one another. As a society, we’ve drifted so far away from comfortable social interaction.

Instead, all it seems that people do is speak their minds, but through a more reserved, protected medium, which is social media. I, like most of the people on this rock called Earth, am susceptible to this sort of ignorance as well.

Throughout my life, I notice myself becoming more and more dependent on social media. It’s this sickening habit that I just can’t seem to beat. Thus, it’s safe for me to say that my reliance on social media, from Snapchat to Instagram, is tremendous. 

In regard to the Facebook outage, Instagram, one of my main apps, was an incessant visit for me on Oct. 4, 2021. I recall repeatedly checking to see updated feeds and stories, but nothing showed. Yet, I continued to try because social media platforms almost always become this drug that people, including myself, rely upon. 

And the worst part? The people in charge of these huge companies, like Zuckerberg, don’t care about their users one bit. 

When the world was taken by storm with the Facebook outage, rumors of a whistleblower started to circulate through the news and media. Frances Haugen, the whistleblower who came forth to testify before Congress, admitted several deep secrets and strategies of the company that will probably unsettle Zuckerberg for the next few nights.

In an article published through the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Haugen’s quote to the senate was included as a means to explain why she did what she did. 

“I saw Facebook repeatedly encounter conflicts between its own profit and our safety. Facebook consistently resolved these conflicts in favor of its own profits,” Haugen said in a quote from the WSJ. 

From this, I’m able to assert that I stand pretty clear in my claim. Facebook and all these other social media giants will continue to tap into the reserve of power that they have through the reliance that people have created on their sites. They don’t care, and they will not stop. 

In the end, it’s appropriate to say that this reliance that humans have formed on social media will not be going away any time soon, because there’s so much that humans need social media for. The worst part for us is that they’ll keep pushing and reaping lucrative profits, while we’re enslaved to their greed in the process.