What if social media disappeared?

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Tue, 05 Oct 2021 - 09:18 GMT

 
CAIRO – 5 October 2021: A sudden and unexpected outage of social media platforms late on Monday hit the whole world, causing everything literally to stop. Ten years ago, no one could’ve even noticed that something was going on, but after so many years of depending on social media in life, work, socialization and even education and research, six hours of social media outage, caused the world a lot of money and raised even more questions.
 
According to the ‘statista’ website, as of 2019 and 2020, the average daily social media usage of internet users worldwide amounted to 145 minutes per day, up from 142 minutes in the previous year. Currently, the country with the most time spent on social media per day is the Philippines, with online users spending an average of three hours and 53 minutes on social media each day.
In comparison, the daily time spent with social media in the U.S. was just two hours and three minutes.
 
Setting on the top of all socializing applications, Facebook that was launched in 2004 by one of the-now-most-rich people in the World, Mark Zuckerberg, have roughly 2.89 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2021.
 
Considered as the biggest social network worldwide, Facebook which also owns WhatsApp and Instagram had a very bad day, going down for up to six hours. During these hours people started to think in alternatives and find other ways to keep doing what they have to do, and depended on Facebook to do it for years, or even alternatives to spend their time, away from social media at all.
 
And, may this blockage be a chance for a quick pause to ask, what if social media went down for real, and for all?
 
Newspaper returns
 
Despite all reports and studies that says printed newspapers were on their way to die, the absence of social media or [Alternative media sources] -the main reason why the world no longer needs printed newspapers- could return again.
 
‘This social media outage would actually benefit us’ Nariman told ET. She added that ‘at least it would be the end of false news and information, and we might even find ourselves having to buy the printed newspapers again to know the news.’
 
She thinks that social media had a negative effect on children and teenagers, noting that ‘taking a little break if it would’ve been a good idea.’
 
Bye to Vloggers
 
Being a Vlogger became the now-a-day dream job to every person who was ever born in generation Z. Forget about being a pilot, doctor or even studying economics or science. Apparently, having a job with a possible income average of $70 million is a great motive.
 
According to a recent study published by The Sun, three-quarters of Gen Z and Millennials surveyed chose becoming a YouTuber as their most desired career.
 
The study showed that the top ten YouTubers made over $70 million combined in 2017, but for aspiring YouTubers, money is not a primary, secondary, or even tertiary motivator. Money ranks fourth after creativity, fame and self-expression. 
 
Although we can not say that YouTube was exactly one of the social media websites.However, without social media, there is a lot of doubt, vlogging would’ve become that much popular.
 
Back to books and cinemas
 
Reading books and watching movies could be on the top of things that come to your mind to do when you no longer have access to social media.
 
‘I think books and movies would be the first thing that comes to my mind if I can’t reach social media,’ Hanan told ET. She added that social media does not require a ‘free time’ to use it. ‘You can scroll on social media while working, on the streets or even in a meeting’ She explained.
 
On the contrary, watching a movie or reading a book needs a specific time, and can not be done along with other things, she concluded.
 
Hanging out with friends
 
It’s true that social media and especially Facebook, made us contact people that we didn’t see for years, but is this enough to maintain a healthy relation with your friends?
 
When used properly, social media could be enhancing your social life, but sending WhatsApp messages to your friends can not be a substitute for reaching out for them every once in a while.
 
“I stopped replying to my friend’s messages when she didn’t call me for a long time,'' Heba told ET. She said that the felt abandoned by her friend when she depended only on messages to reach out for her. 
 
“I wanted to meet her, have a coffee and talk,'' Heba said.
 
She added, that many friends especially from college just depend on sending few messages on holidays, but rarely when any one of them thinks of a reunion for example.
 
“Social media made us seem close, but in reality, we really don’t know anything about each other’
 
Quality time with family
 
How many times your parents urged you to leave your cell phone and just sit with them to have a real and nice chat, or even watch TV. Maybe, if social media went down, this would be your real chance to get to know your family even more and appreciate the time you spend with them.
 
 
Hand-on crafts and hobbies
 
So many things that may come to your mind to do if you have the time for it, an old hobby or a craft you want to learn. Saving the few hours you spend daily on social media from your time and energy and investing it in other thing could take you some places.
 
'I've always loved painting’ Salma told ET. She said that as a mother and a wife she didn’t get the time she needs to practice painting regularly. 
 
However, ‘when social media went down, I was alone at home, and I just thought of painting again.’ She added.
 
“I know social media was not standing in my way, on the contrary, I love to hear people’s feedback when I post new paintings on Facebook, but social media could be a real distraction from doing anything you want. It has two sides, I believe.” Salma said.
 
Real face-to-face socializing
 
Think of how people meet before the emergence of social media. 
 
People used to see each other and meet in clubs, cafes, school, work, friends’ outings or even concerts. Adding someone on Facebook might not be the ideal way to get to know them.
 
Work Apps for work purposes 
 
Well, some apps were designed with additional and special features to help people in their work, such as Slack, Trello, 15Five and ClickUp. 
 
Social media was not designed to help employees communicate with managers or colleagues, so maybe this is the time to start using the right apps, for the right purpose.
 
Emails are back
 
Emails have always been known as the professional way of work. If you want something from your managers, you email them. If you want something from another department, you email them too, but using emails instead of WhatsApp, could be a temporary way to solve the problem.
 
Farewell long voice notes
 
A good question to ask; if you have something really important to tell, why do you think sending a 15-minute or longer voice note is a better solution than calling?
 
Saying goodbye to these very long voice notes, could be one of the privileges of the social media disappearance. 
 
Digital marketing changes
 
Digital marketing is the component of marketing that utilizes internet and online based digital technologies such as desktop computers, mobile phones and other digital media and platforms to promote products and services.
 
The disappearance of social media would severely change the shape of digital marketing science as we know it and change all the terms and ideologies that appeared just as a result of social media platforms.
 
 

 

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