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With Social Media Down, I Had To Explore The Real World. What I Experienced Shocked Me!

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The world has a heaved a giant sigh of relief. It was crazy last night. The earth rotated a little slowly on its axis. Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp were down. An official statement by Facebook on Twitter (Ah, the irony) said, “”We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.” WTF even?

Which is all fine, I said, in between heaving breaths but what am I expected to do? Put my phone down? Given that all communication had ceased, all updates stalled and the world as I know it changed, I was unaware about the expected code of conduct. Am I supposed to, like, talk? To real people?

After several frustrating and agonising minutes of trying to get my apps to work, I decided to put my phone down, albeit gingerly, lest I break the other functional apps. I was on my commute so I looked around the crowded Metro cabin. Several people were looking up, faces blanched. Clearly, this outage was nothing short of a national emergency. They were as confused as I was. We smiled at each other first, was that okay? We weren’t entirely sure. Then, the girl on my right said, ‘Hi!’ to me. The gall! Talking like that to people in real life. I looked at her, she was smiling. ‘Hi!’ I croaked. We went on to talk. Found out that we both take the metro every day, that she’s so thankful she’s found a seat, she usually doesn’t. As time went on, the cabin got louder. People were starting to talk to each other. It was different. Awkward but nice. I learned that in the real world, you can see people’s expressions as they talk to you. It was…quite cool, actually.

Of course, the minute I got off the metro, I urged, beseeched the apps to be working again. No such luck. Dysfunctional, f****** apps. I didn’t know what my long lost friends, the ones that I haven’t spoken to since third grade were doing at this exact moment because, no Insta stories. I was missing out. Life was passing me by. *cue melodramatic music*

I got home. The bright side was that I would have wifi. The downside was that these apps were still stubbornly refusing to work. I noticed the back of this guy when I entered the house. Alarmed, I grabbed my shoe, my hand raised, ready to attack. ‘Who’s there?’ I shouted, my voice quivering. ‘Me man!’ my husband replied. For the first time in many days, I got a good look at him. Not bad looking, I realised. The hair around his temples has gone white, I notice. He smiles at me. He’s not addicted to social media, he has no idea the emotional turmoil I am going through. I smile back weakly. For the first time in many months, we sit down and have a conversation. I find out what’s going on in his life. Apparently, he now likes Italian food. He’s always wanted a pet. It’s like I have been married to him but only have now found out about him. He’s a good person with a kind heart. And he loves me and I have no idea why. I was great meeting my better half.

Defeated and needing to vent, I called a friend. *cue thunderous applause* Because I can’t do phone calls. I text people. I DM people. I Whatsapp people. I never, ever call them. Let’s just say, I would rather have my nipples pierced than make an actual call. But I did last night. And it was wonderful, I heard her laugh and it was much cooler (I admit reluctantly) that seeing a ‘Lol’ on screen.

I also went to sleep on time. I read a book. Words on actual paper. I didn’t, couldn’t scroll mindlessly through Insta and while it was hair-tearing annoying, I found that I could escape into the world of books. I had to use my imagination, which though a little rusty, was a great place. I hit the pillow at 11pm and got a whole 8 hours of sleep.

Now, this may be out there but I would recommend an outage. For a few minutes. *scrolls through Instagram*. Okay, no, I take my words back. I. Cannot. Deal.

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Mansi Shah is the resident humour writer and random conversation starter. Tends to laugh manically at puns. Deeply enjoys the blunt force of sarcasm. Preys on chauvinists and people with incorrect grammar. Hoards makeup and beauty products. Attacks Nutella with vigour.

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