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Facebook down: What we can learn from this experience

Key Visual Feuill-IT-ong

What a fuss there is about Facebook these days. The headlines range from breakdown to blackout to total failure. It almost seems as if homo digitalicus has experienced one of the greatest catastrophes in recent history. However, if one takes a closer look, there is definitely something positive to be gained from all this.

by Strigalt von Entf*

Strigalt von Entf

It was Monday. A Monday, like many Mondays at first, a day that ends the weekend and brings people back to the treadmill of reality. But then it happened. The unbelievable, the inconceivable, the unthinkable happened: what Grandma Elfriede wishes for her birthday every year: nothing. At least when one tried to log on to the big social media platforms Facebook and Instagram. Error, server not found, life stands still because life just goes on.

Naturally, dear readers, such dilettantism initially attracts the displeasure of the masses. The rage, hopelessness and despair manifested itself in the stomachs of all those users of the world-connecting data octopuses who were just happily hoping to catch a glimpse of the latest design ideas for vegan Channuka cake pops, to give an encouraging, empathetic thumbs-up to a cousin's photo series on his first self-welded wall in his student home, or to be confronted with the latest outbursts of their favourite hated politician, bringing their gastric juices into motion. In vain, for all that awaited them was the coldly dismissive shoulder of a highly impersonal error message that nevertheless manages to give all onlookers the impression that they are addressed personally.

Naturally, dear readers, such dilettantism initially attracts the displeasure of the masses.

However, dear fellow reflectors of human existence, let us take a step back and look at the events with the emotional distance that is now due and do the same as the unseeing Justitia: let us weigh up. What was it that really drove the disappointed users, that drove us up the proverbial wall? Was it really the longing for heavily colour-filtered photos of interiors that we would never do to ourselves in real-life? Hardly. Rather, it was the calamitous melange of disappointed expectation, uncertainty about what would happen next and, of course, the great fear that one might miss an important event. As a result, one spent almost more time reloading the lost pages in the desperate hope that they would reveal the view of the paradise of virtual contacts again than one would if the pages simply worked.

What was it really that drove the disappointed users, that drove us up the proverbial wall? Was it really the longing for heavily colour-filtered photos of interiors that we would never do to ourselves in real-life?

Let's use our sharpest sword, let's use our imagination: what if this unpredictability were eliminated? What if social media platforms were not available around the clock, but introduced a regular closing time? You would know in advance: Friday from 6 p.m. Facebook is closed, curfew, you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. There is nothing to miss, no scandal, no anecdote from a distant friend. Think, esteemed reader! Imagine this world! The freedom one suddenly gains without giving up the benefits of being digitally connected. Times when one can devote oneself fully to conversations with real people present, without constantly having the urge to just take a quick peek into the bottomless well of social networks, because it is temporarily sealed anyway. At one time, one devotes oneself to the affairs of real life; at the other time, one enjoys the beauties and favours of the virtual all the more intensely and appreciatively. Daily digital detox, but without withdrawal symptoms, balm for the torn soul of homo digitalicus. Imagine all the people living for today.

Honoured – Your Strigalt von Entf

The format

*Our "Feuill-IT-ong" format is created in collaboration with the two freelance writers Tobias Lauterbach und Daniel Al-Kabbani who occasionally contribute to the satire platform "Der Postillon". Under the pseudonym Strigalt von Entf, they report on current events from the world of technology – always with a wink! ;-)

In case of another Facebook down: Check "Binary Dreams"!

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