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December 2, 2021

10/15/2021 1:14:00 PM
Things I learned about the mass social media shutdown
Lets face it, many of us spend a major portion of our time on Social Media. I myself am one of those people.
Those who have social media, are well aware of the shutdown that took place on Monday. I had issues with my WiFi at home, so I have had to get creative on how to get that WiFi, thus either taking my laptop to a local library or at a public cafe nearby.
This time, I took my laptop to our Democrat office for a short-time. During that time, I discovered that there was a social media shutdown of Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp (an app I do not use).
The social media shutdown affected people in different ways. For many, social media has become a major tool used for business owners and corporations. It has also been a way to keep communities informed of local happenings.
However in the past year and a half, it has become a tool that unfortunately has amplified division. It has also become a way for people to "keep tabs" on people without taking a step further and checking on others.
It made me think about a few different things
-I realized that Facebook in many ways has become a monopoly (I would recommend checking out some online articles explaining this). When Facebook was created, there was no ownership of apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp. However as these apps were developed, Facebook perceived these social media platforms as threats and purchased them, hence the monopoly. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed lawsuits claiming that the company has participated in anticompetitive strategies through buying out other social media platforms. Because of buying these apps, Facebook absorbed the platforms into its own operating system. When the social media giant went down, so did the others. It made get critical and wonder, should one social media giant be the one that takes over, can there be a way for social media platforms to work together instead of having perceived threats of competitiveness?
-It made me get critical on how we should use social media. It was brought to my attention that before the social media breakdown, a former Facebook media representative appeared on 60 minutes and revealed that Facebook and Instagram have intensified eating disorders and intrusive thoughts for people younger than me. It turns out they intensified suicidal thoughts for teenage female members, and behind closed doors no action was take to stop it. It became "Profit over People".
-There are accusations that Facebook has become a platform that created and amplified tensions that led to the violence that occured in D.C. on January 6.
While these social media platforms have been created as a way to connect with loved ones, I strongly encourage to look inward about how you want to use social media going forward. Do you want to stay in touch with your loved ones, or do you want to use it as a tool that has been accused of spreading misinformation, hate and division.
It is up to you going forward. Social media can be a good thing, and it is up to us to decide how we use it.

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