Facebook, Instagram outage cause some users to reassess how they spend their time

Reporter: Amy Oshier
Published: Updated:

The massive disruption that took down Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp on Monday became worldwide news very quickly.

Facebook was offline for about seven hours, and the internet went wild.

It turns out many people did too – experiencing full-on anxiety.

WINK News health and medical reporter Amy Oshier has some advice on unplugging.

A mental health expert we spoke with said we may have actually thrived during the longest, most widespread outage in Facebook history.

For almost a day it was like we were all in Facebook jail.

Brianna Nesta was on the social media platform and said she noticed immediately when it was out.

Whether or not you noticed the massive outage that temporarily took down Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp says a lot about your social standing.

Are you a dabbler or a die-hard?

“I’m on it like all the time,” Nesta explained. “Your phone tells you every Sunday, it tells you how many hours you spend on it. And it’s a lot.”

Dr. Alise Bartley is a mental counselor and professor at FGCU. She says the unexpected media break made a lot of people recognize their reliance on tech. “They were definitely very anxious, agitated. Maybe they snapped at people. People kept continuing to look as to whether or not Facebook was up again.”

Bartley says the outage may have been a blessing, rather than a curse. It’s good for your mental health to unplug.

“I think it was a great opportunity in disguise,” she added. “And that’s how we have to look at this. This is an opportunity to step back and say, wait a second. Where is Facebook in my life? Where do I want it to be in my life? And am I missing out maybe on relationships?”

The break was the last straw for Frank Amma, who chose to break up with social media.

“This last year I’ve been cutting back on Facebook. And today I just finally decided to delete it.” Amma deleted his Facebook account.

It’s a personal decision, how you want to spend your time.

Bartley says it comes down to priorities. “Be honest with yourself. How did I respond when Facebook shut down? And if you’re like, well I don’t really know. And go ahead and be without it for a day.”

One of the best pieces of advice was that we should spend more time strolling and less time scrolling. Getting stimulation from the real world instead of online platforms.

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