Katina Michael, an expert in the social implications of emerging technologies, said this reaction shows that social media is “like a drug and we can’t live without it”.
“And this wasn’t even an external attack, it was an internal problem. What happens if we lose access for a week or two weeks, if we can’t even handle an outage lasting a few hours?” Dr Michael told The New Daily.
“The reliance is such – both for personal use and commercial – that we have no fallback plan when technology fails us. A perfect, recent example of this was the census fail.”
Dr Michael said many people would be surprised by how many times they check Facebook every day. Photo: Getty
Dr Michael said people have and always will learn to adapt to new technologies, but that it was also important to be more self-aware of changing behaviours.
“We’ve had the introduction of radios, of TVs, the internet and now social media,” she said.
“I think what’s important is to ensure we can cope without it to begin with. This starts from limiting a child’s exposure to TV or the internet while their brains are still developing.
“Otherwise I think we’re in trouble. I worry for the atrophy of the brain.
“I worry that if we find ourselves in a vulnerable situation without technology, we won’t know how to be.”
Dr Michael was involved with the creation of free app Antisocial, launched in February, designed to help people monitor their internet and social media use.
Dr Michael said that even during a slow day at work, she learned that she checked her emails as many as 40 times in a day.
Source: Alana Mitchelson, "Global Facebook outage raises serious questions about reliance on social media", The New Daily, October 12, 2017, Available: http://thenewdaily.com.au/life/tech/2017/10/12/facebook-instagram-global-outage/