Science and Technology

The sticky problem of making Facebook go away

By Damon Linker, The Week

How could we make the outage permanent?

For a few hours on Monday, billions of people across the globe experienced something extraordinary: They got a taste of a world without social media.

Well, not all of social media. Twitter was still there, and so was Snapchat, TikTok, Reddit, and lots of other platforms. But Facebook was gone, and so was Instagram, What’s App, Messenger, and Oculus. It was a glimpse, for about five hours, of what it would be like to live without constant, instantaneous networked communication through the machines most of us carry around in our pockets and purses, and interact with at work, at home, and everywhere else we go.

What if we decided to make it permanent — to greatly curtail or even eliminate these platforms from our lives and societies? Many of us probably wouldn’t want to. Others may think doing so would be an improvement but doubt we have the will or the means to make it happen. But I suspect many others would welcome the chance to quiet the digital din in which we now live out our lives, if only we could figure out how.


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