By Rae Tyson, Grade 9 

On Monday, October 4th, 2021 something major happened worldwide to everyone. Something horrendous. Social media shut down!

Apps including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, and Oculus shut down unexpectedly. In a frenzy, everyone then ran to Twitter or TikTok. 

All apps shut down before noon Eastern Daylight Time and were back up after 5:46 p.m.. Users were unable to post, send messages, see other people’s stories, see other’s posts or refresh their feed, the worst shutdown Facebook has experienced since 2019, when the whole platform was down for a total of 24 hours.

But the pending question is why?

Facebook explained its apps shut down due to a configuration issue. Facebook engineers later explained in more detail, telling Richard Lawler and Alex Heath at that “the company’s backbone connection between data centers shut down during routine maintenance, which caused the DNS servers to go offline. These two factors combined in making the problem more difficult to fix, and they help explain why services were offline for so long.” 

For those who don’t get technology speak, it was traffic in their systems. 

Not everyone was outraged by the unexpected shutdown. Most people were happy about the shutdown. Social media has a huge impact on the world; it’s fun, but it also is distracting. Social media has its cons, too. 

Most people were able to focus, most people were able to get work in, and most people were able to focus on themselves, even for just a measly six hours. 

In a way, the social media shutdown of October 4 was a good thing for some people, but at the end of the day, social media is addictive and some people can’t come off of it.

Each month, the Southwester spotlights voices from Richard Wright Public Charter Schools for Journalism and Media Arts. 

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