Sunday, July 6, 2014

What Would Happen if Facebook Shut Down: The Day That Facebook Died

As you awake from your slumber, you roll over to grab your phone. You click on your Facebook app to view your daily newsfeed, but when you tap it, the app won't open. You tap it again. You hit it. You smack your phone out of frustration. Yet, nothing happens. You head on over to your computer, because you're certain that it's just a mobile error, but when you see the blank screen, you realize that it's more than that.

"It's only temporary," you think to yourself, and you go on about your day. A few hours later, you check again, only to see the same thing. Now confused, you do a quick Google search on Facebook only to see the headlines that Facebook has shut down.

Facebook is gone. Forever.

Imagine if this were a true scenario, although for millions of people across the world. What do you believe might happen in a situation such as this?

The first reaction would probably be denial.

No, no, Facebook can't just shut down.

It'll be back.

This is just a late April Fools joke.

Or is it?

As days pass with no change, the next reaction is likely to be frustration that eventually leads to anger once people realize that their messages, photos, videos, and digital connections are long gone. Of course, the dust will eventually settle, so what happens after people "get over it?"


People would socialize in the flesh.

If Facebook were to go down the toilet, we'd all have to change out of our pajamas, into clean clothes, and actually get out in the real world and socialize with people in the flesh, right?

Um, not exactly.

As a blogger, I use Facebook religiously, and the last time there was a temporary error, the first thing I did was run to Twitter to make sure that I wasn't the only one experiencing the issue. As it turns out, the rest of the Facebook users did too. It was then that I wondered, "How much of a traffic increase does Twitter see when Facebook has errors?"

And chances are, the answer is a lot. Posts with hashtag #facebookdown were quite popular among Twitter for those 30 minutes (yes, that's it) that Facebook was experiencing errors, and for some, all hell was breaking loose. For others, it was a time to make jokes, especially jokes regarding the recent Facebook psychological experiment.

Needless to say, no matter how badly you want to believe that the world would be a better place without Facebook, you're probably wrong. Facebook's non-existence wouldn't cause people to get out and socialize. We would see the rise of other social networking platforms, such as Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram, and Google +, to name a few.

You'd lose touch with your friends and family.

God forbid Facebook shut down, because then, you're shut off from all of your family and friends. What in the world would you do without being able to communicate with the people you haven't even spoken to since high school? How would you cope without talking to the family you haven't seen since you were 12-years-old?

While it's true that you would lose digital connections on a mass scale, if they're really that important to you, I bet you could pick up a phone, dial their number, and talk to them. If you don't have their number, I bet a quick Google search could help you find it.

Your digital ego would be shattered.

No longer will you be able to announce to the world how you have just finished all of the laundry in your home. You can't share high-angled photographs of yourself while standing in front of a dirty bathroom mirror so that everyone catches a glimpse of your iPhone. You can't message your friends and anticipate the moment that they view the message so that you can hold your breath for a reply and then get pissed off when they don't respond. (I KNOW YOU SAW MY MESSAGE!)

People would no longer have a glimpse into your fabricated Facebook life, and you'd simply have to go on living like a normal person--or tell everyone "What's on your mind" via Twitter.

As you can see, if Facebook were to die, nothing would change. It wouldn't be a catastrophic event. The world wouldn't end. We wouldn't all die. We'd be fine, and we'd move the hell on, just like we always do.

If Facebook were to shut down, how would you feel?

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