In light of today’s Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp outage, it got me thinking about the amount of space social media takes in our lives, especially as writers. The sectional sized shape of social media, taking up the whole room, defining it, leaving little to no space for anything else. And I have to say, the social media silence is pretty nice. Now don’t get me wrong, on a regular day, I am trolling Instagram and Twitter with the best of them, working out all those muscles in my right thumb, swiping and swiping and swiping. But in the face of today’s outage, the quiet is nice. It reminds me of the world I grew up in, where the most immediate form of communication was taking the receiver of the kitchen phone and watching the long extension cord snake its way from room to room and finally closing the door on the cord, the phone connection still miraculously intact. But now, there’s so many forms of communication. There’s Instagram and Facebook messenger and Twitter and TikTok. There are even bite-size videos on YouTube now. Where does this interconnectivity end? Or, more importantly, where does it even begin to scratch the surface of some thing genuine, vulnerable, and honest? When did we stop noticing how different the light looks in Fall? Or the sound the leaves make in the ever-present breeze? Just a slight rustle, enough to punctuate the sunset.
And with that thought, Instagram is back, WhatsApp notifications are ablaze, and Facebook has refreshed. We're back to the white noise and chatter, but I can't say I missed it.