You wake up one day, prepare your cup of coffee and sit down to enjoy your morning in peace. As soon as you open your phone, you see a notification from Facebook: “We’re sorry to let you down! Our journey together has been fruitful, but now it’s time to go”. WHAT? Facebook is shutting down? Maybe not today, but eventually it might happen even though the chances are currently low. The social media giant that invaded our lives over the past 16 years may end up being forgotten.
What are the consequences?
As of today, there are over 2.6 billion people using Facebook alone, and another 2.3 billion people using at least one of their services. This means that Facebook shutting down would cause a huge disruption worldwide. People from every continent would get angry, because a part of their digital life has been stripped out.
In the past few years, we’ve seen this happen but on a microscopic scale. On several occasions, Facebook stopped working temporarily due to some issues or an ongoing maintenance. People always went crazy about it, even though they knew it was temporary. The hashtag #FacebookDown went trending on Twitter several times during such outages, with people complaining about it and urging Facebook to fix it fast.
If a couple of hours without Facebook can make people this angry, what would happen if they heard that Facebook is shutting down? They would get disconnected from their online friends. The huge networks of connections they built over the years would be gone. A lot of photos and shared memories would be lost. In a nutshell, a huge part of their digital life would be taken away from them!
We are too dependent on Facebook
Our problem here is that we became too dependent on one company to the point that the mere idea of shutting it down makes us frightened. Many people have entire careers that depend on Facebook and its other services. Some online businesses would be shut down without it, and influencers who use it as their primary source of income would be out of jobs! Here’s a small example:
What’s even worse is that Facebook is making itself a monopoly. As soon as it sees a product with huge potential, it runs to buy it so that it has full control over it. The company bought both Whatsapp and Instagram, which are also a big part of our digital life nowadays.
Is there something we can do?
Of course there is. The simple solution would be to stop using all their services altogether, but we all know this isn’t a very realistic solution. What we can do instead is start using some alternatives to their services, which also comes with additional benefits! For example, you can replace Whatsapp with Telegram which provides a much better service and more privacy. Instead of focusing on Facebook alone for your online business, you can try building a presence on other platforms too. The less dependent on Facebook we are, the less affected we’ll be if it shuts down one day.
Even though this scenario isn’t likely to happen any soon, we must be aware of how much we became reliant on this company. We are giving it too much power, and we should stop it from controlling our entire digital life.