It’s official: Facebook runs the world.
Yesterday morning, for just 10 minutes, the Facebook servers experienced unspecified difficulties. For 10 whole minutes, users were unable to log into their accounts, and for those 10 minutes, the world erupted in chaos.
So what do we do when Facebook’s down? Obviously, we turn to Twitter. The hashtag #FacebookDown started trending within minutes of the disaster and each tweet contributed to the growing rage that Facebook’s failure ignited.
People were confused and angry, and what’s worse, they had no way to update their 800 close Facebook friends about it.
What’s wrong with this picture? By now, it should be obvious: Our society expects and needs instant gratification. This is due to our complete and utter emotional reliance on technology.
But, let’s get one thing straight: Technology isn’t always harmful. Our devices connect us to the world; they connect us to people we wouldn't have otherwise met and to people with whom we don't want to lose touch.
With social media, we can influence others to take action; we can virtually gather and implement real, lasting change. We can make our voices heard, flaunt our style and express our creativity. We’re reliant on technology, and oftentimes, for justified reasons.
But still, the outrage brought about by Facebook’s crash reflects a notable societal flaw. The problem isn’t our inability to function without the Internet. We can function; we can walk and talk and pick up a print newspaper, if need be.
Rather, the problem lies within the angry and numerous tweets about #FacebookDown. Facebook users were expecting to open their webpages and effortlessly scroll through their news feeds, and when they couldn’t, they lashed out.
This reaction is a result of our obsession with instant gratification — the “I want it now, or else” attitude. Think back to "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Remember Veruca Salt, the spoiled daughter of the successful British factory owner?
Spoiler alert: She was a very bad egg because she expected the world and threw tantrums when she couldn’t have her heart's desire. If Veruca had experienced this morning’s Facebook crash, she surely would have contributed to the #FacebookDown trend. In fact, she would have led it.
Today, many of us suffer from what some like to call Veruca Salt Syndrome. Technology allows us to get what we want, when we want it.
Who won the World Series in 2006? Google it. Can’t find your iPhone? Call it. Now, we even have apps to lock our front doors, control our thermostats and turn on our lights.
Life has never been easier and gratification has never been quicker. Like Veruca, we want the world. Unlike Veruca, we can't have it with just the tap of a finger.
We’re spoiled by technology, but it’s not our fault. Gen-Y was raised on gadgets -- it’s all we know. But, we don’t need to continue the trend. We can take steps to slow things down.
First, we need to understand that good things come to those who wait. I know, major cliché, but it’s true. Send a letter to a friend. When a response arrives in the mail, you’ll see that it’s truly thrilling.
Instead of driving to your destination, if possible, walk. It might take more time, but the fresh air, exercise and time for personal reflection will make it worth it.
And, next time Facebook goes down, don’t turn to Twitter. Turn to a friend. We don’t need to disconnect completely. Like I stated earlier, technology has the potential to seriously improve our lives. However, unplugging occasionally can help mend our unreasonable demands for constant instant gratification.
Only in this way will we cure our societal Veruca Salt Syndrome.
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