As a Social Media Manager, my daily routine includes coming in to work, making that all important first cup of tea, and logging straight onto Twitter. But, like many of you would have felt yesterday, the anxiety and frustration sets in when we can’t be social.
Twitter’s outage reinforced the idea that social media has become so deeply embedded in our day to day lives that when we’re left without these platforms it can feel almost apocalyptic. But, as you hyperventilate with beads of sweat dripping on to your smart phone, remember that you’re not alone; more than half of the world’s online population use social media regularly.
Tuesday’s Twitter meltdown saw the site inaccessible in some way for around six hours, and whilst it was, our office was awash with people commiserating that they can’t vent about the child screaming on their train that morning, swap photos of cute puppies or most importantly in our line of work, share breaking news stories.
These social blackouts remind us that whether we like to admit it or not, social media is a driving force in our everyday lives. Whilst it definitely has its positives – for one it keeps me in a job – it gives us easy access to our friends, breaking news, and the things we find most interesting no matter how niche that might be, but it can also cause us stress. Whether that stress comes from maintaining a large network of friends, feeling jealous of their exciting updates and latest holidays, the demands of constantly replying to group messages, or the dreaded ‘fear of missing out’ in the lives of our nearest and dearest.
With us relying so deeply on networks like Twitter to share our daily experiences and updates, we often find that when this is taken away from us our real-time occurrences have no place. By the time sites like Twitter are back up and running, my anecdote on the latest Celebrity Big Brother eviction is no longer of interest, and rest assured I won’t be posting it without the confirmation I’ll get at least one retweet (no one wants that social rejection!). Millennials in modern society like myself, communicate through these platforms so frequently that its absence – even if for merely an hour – shows how habitual the use of sites like Twitter has become.
For further comments on yesterday’s Twitter outage and more from our Managing Director Mitchell, take a look at the Bournemouth Echo’s piece ‘Letter from the Twitter Shutdown’ here.