Facebook is Down? Now What do We Do?

Secretly I’m a Luddite. You know, those guys that hated technology when the Industrial Revolution started. Yes. I hate technology. But I love it. But I hate it. We’ve learned to co-exist.

This week when Facebook went down, for the second time, I was secretly happy. I thought back to the blackouts and ice storms when people went outside and saw their neighbours. They got together for cards or boardgames around an oil lantern. Older people showed younger people what shadow puppets were and how to make them. The birth rate took a little jump nine months later.

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I wonder if that happens when Facebook goes down. About two billion people are on Facebook everyday. Almost a third of the world’s population. My kids use it as the primary line of communications with their friends. “Why don’t you call them?”, I ask. “I don’t know their phone number.”, they respond. It baffles me.

This week, I’m going full-Luddite with the Your IT Guy column. Here’s what you do when Facebook goes down.

Missing Farmville or Candy Crush Saga? Dust off the boardgames and play with your family. No need to send annoying game requests.

Can’t post a selfie of you eating something with quinoa in it? Go through the family picture albums and show your family their heritage. Tell them stories about the good old days. Let them see pictures of people other than themselves.

Upset that you can’t run down a political party with a poorly researched meme? Call your local Member of Parliament and talk to them. Write a letter to them. Or make sure you know where and when to vote. Talk to your family about why voting is important. Discuss what’s going on in Canada and listen to what they have to say.

Want to know how your relative out west is doing? Pick up the phone and call them. Take some time to do just one thing and talk directly with one person. It’s a lot of fun, really!

Facebook being down might be a pause in your social media, but it should be a reminder that being social means being with real live people. Being with people is what builds our soul. Nevermind building your network. Failing that, there’s always Twitter.

First Published: The Guysborough Journal, Vol . 21, No. 39, September 30, 2015

Image Credit: Wikimedia

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