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Twitter’s outage reminds us social media is taking over our lives

Thursday 21 January 2016, by SIGNIS

San Francisco, Brussels, January 21st, 2016 (CNET/SIGNIS). Tuesday morning, many people got scared and started hyperventilating when they tried to log onto Twitter, and couldn’t. Twitter was down for about six hours.

Platforms like Twitter and Facebook have become so ingrained in our lives it’s hard to imagine living without them. More than half of the world’s online population use social media regularly, but when the services go out, it can feel a bit apocalyptic for some.
Twitter’s service outage on Tuesday caused parts anxiety, frustration and fear of missing out on the latest. The Internet was all atwitter with people commiserating about how they suddenly can’t swap cat photos, make baby announcements or share breaking news stories.

"Social connection, safety and security are primary drivers of human behavior," said Dr. Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center, a Southern California nonprofit that studies human behavior and technology. "It’s not surprising that people react emotionally to things like when Twitter disconnects, even if we rationally know that it is likely temporary and not, in the grand scheme of things, a big deal."

These experiences remind us that social media is somewhat of a mixed bag in our lives. In theory, it gives us easy access to our friends and the things we find important. But in reality, the Pew Research Center found that it can also give us stress. "Stress might come from maintaining a large network of Facebook friends, feeling jealous of their well-documented and well-appointed lives, the demands of replying to text messages, having to keep up with status updates on Twitter, and ’the fear of missing out,’ in the lives of friends and family," the study said.

The Pope also delcared, last September, that social media could have bad effects on people, and instead of making people happy, they make people lonely.

In conclusion, even if social media can be really usefull sometimes, keep in mind that real-life interactions are more important than the ones online!

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