The Ups and #Facebookdown

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The Ups and #Facebookdown

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Social media may have shut down, but for some students, productivity went up. The hashtag #Facebookdown flooded Twitter feeds Monday night when Facebook and Instagram suffered its biggest outage since 2010.

The outage began Monday night at 10:10 PST and lasted for an hour. According to the online outage-tracking site, downdetector.com, users across the Americas, the UK, and parts of India, Australia, and New Zealand were affected by the outage.

For Facebook administrators, the outage meant not only an onslaught of complaints, but also an estimated $1.1 million hit from loss of ad revenue, DePaul marketing professor Albert Muniz said.

Responses online were mostly comical. Memes poked fun at users’ reliance on social media, such as the concern regarding Instagramed photos of food, and how users would be forced to simply describe the photo in 140 characters on Twitter.

Jokes aside, the event begs this question: could the world survive without Facebook?

DePaul senior, Shaza Loutfi, believes it could, but communication and event planning would take a huge hit.

Loutfi was messaging a friend on Facebook before the outage and thought her Internet suddenly stopped working.

“I hope they don’t think I’m ignoring them,” Loutfi said of her Facebook friend at the time. Loutfi didn’t have the friend’s phone number. In the hour without Facebook, Loutfi focused on her homework and returned to messaging when Facebook was working again.

Loutfi said she was able to focus more on her homework because Facebook is a distraction.

Like Loutfi, Junior finance major Joaquin Giovanni Nolasco also thought his WiFi connection was “acting funny.” Nolasco tried restarting his phone and checked other online apps to see if they were working.

“At first, I was a bit surprised because Facebook never goes down. And after a while, it felt as if I was missing a part of my routine,” Nolasco said.

Nolasco used the time to study and at around 2:45 a.m. found that both apps were working again.

Nolasco and Loutfi are among an average of 864 million daily Facebook users. According to the latest figures, there are about 703 million users on mobile. Users rely on social media to communicate not only with their friends, but also coworkers and classmates.

Life without Facebook would make it harder to communicate with more people at once, Nolasco said.

“The DePaul Class of 2016 is a great (Facebook) group that I’ve used to buy books at low prices and also get informed of events I wouldn’t know about,” Nolasco said. “I’m not saying I’d die if Facebook didn’t exist, it would just be harder to communicate with people and share stories.”

Sophomore business major Julia Zawislak said she also uses Facebook to communicate with friends, but rarely.

“If it’s someone I care about and need to communicate with, I’ll actually get their number,” Zawislak said. “(Facebook) isn’t something that I deeply rely on.”

During the outage Zawislak went on another online app called iFunny to browse comedic photos and posts. She did not check if Facebook was running again until the next day.

For Nolasco, the event revealed the dark possibility of a Facebook-less world.

“It (was) out of the norm,” Nolasco said. “I thought that was the end of Facebook.”

The hashtag #Facebookdown is still trending on Twitter, with users posting from around the world. Facebook administrators have been vague as to the case of the outage, but have denied claims of a hacking attack.