The time when social media was out
The impossible has happened. Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp et al — social media, as we know it, was down for some six hours. And, we survived!
For most Bangladeshis, the timing could not have been worse. True, half the country was asleep, sans the night owls, which my daily morning feed suggests is a significant number. No wonder the most common query after the fallout of the social media apocalypse was — "Are we back?"
Well back to the '80s we were!
It was like a time when there was no Internet, no cable TV, and the only entertainment available was on good old Bangladesh Television.
For those who did not live the moment, consider this. There was no Facebook, no photo updates to check on Instagram, WhatsApp was dead too! Basically, your 'dead end of the night routine' was doomed.
Feeling that this could be a phone failure, you restart your mobile for the umpteenth time only to get the same result. You re-check the WIFI settings and start your PC — same issues! Your best bet to diverge attention by catching up on some old episodes of Friends is not happening either, so you decide to shift to the television. Only then do you discover that foreign TV channels are having a 'shut down' of their own and all the local channels are '80s Dhallywood titles — the highlight of which are scenes with mismatched sound mixing.
Like millions of sound sleepers, I missed the entire catastrophe. Wonder what would have happened only if this fiasco took place during the midday heat of the COVID-19 lockdown!
After recovering from the disaster, social media reacted strongly to the news; shareholders' reaction was only stronger. Stock prices have dropped ever since, but yesterday was an unprecedented low. Some have quoted it as "a brutal moment for Facebook" and indeed it was. Reportedly, Mark Zuckerberg lost some $7 billion…and as irrelevant as that figure may seem to me, I am sure he took notice.
Zuckerberg is not having the best of times lately. Thanks to whistle-blowers who revealed that the company's own research says Facebook builds up hatred, creates misinformation and causes political unrest. Those of us who have unfortunately witnessed the Trump era can testify to that.
The root of the shutdown is still hanging in the air, but Facebook was quick to blame the outage on "a configuration error," which for a zilch-tech like myself means nothing. Zuckerberg himself went all out with an emotional status himself, which hilariously enough, got half a million 'Haha' reacts.
Some bad karma is catching up on Zuckerberg. And to top it all up, Twitter had a field day!