I had no idea how much of my life revolved around social media until today.
Top tier social media platforms: Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. A moment of silence for these major apps that went down at 5 p.m. today, October 4th, 2021.
My day was going well as I was able to message my family and friends on Messenger. It was the only social media platform through which I could communicate with my family in the Philippines.
I was able to use Instagram to post my daily Instagram story without issue, and I also received Facebook comments from my father about “how cute and young” I look in the photo I posted that day, which was taken six years ago.
In addition, I was invited to join our new WhatsApp Journalism group chat. It was fun and trouble-free.
Around 5 p.m., I assumed my phone was acting strangely and slowly because it was raining. I assumed it was a signal issue or that my Vodafone top-up had run out. Why did I think all of that? It was because all of my messages were not being sent and I was not receiving any replies.
I was already panicking, convinced that I was to blame for breaking my phone. However, I remembered one of my Journalism mentors telling us to “never make assumptions” and to “always ask questions.”
So, I asked my sister if she was having problems with her Facebook and Messenger, lo and behold, she said, “Facebook and Messenger are down, something is wrong with it globally.”
As soon as she said that, I grabbed my laptop charger and plugged it in. I opened my browser and typed in Facebook.com.
In bold letters, it says, “This site can’t be reached”. I began stitching everything that had happened since 5 p.m. in my head: What is going on? Why is my phone so glitchy? How come my messages aren’t getting delivered but I can watch YouTube?
After that, I read the news, which confirmed my suspicions. Several news organizations ran their own headlines about the major outage. Globally, Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp were all unavailable.
I began to feel panicked, stressed, and questions began to arise.
What happened? Will they be able to recover it? How can I communicate with my friends and family back home? Will I be able to communicate with them again?
As of 11:15 p.m. in Ireland, these major social media platforms are back again after six hours.
I had no idea how important these platforms were; I know I hated how much I used them during the pandemic, but they are important from a personal standpoint because they are the only connection I have with my family and friends in the Philippines.
For people like me who rely on social media to interact with the rest of the world, this global media outage is a major eye-opener.
Hannah Giron Daygo.