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How social media impacts our mental health after Facebook outage

For some people social media is woven into our daily life, but after Facebook went down for seven hours it could have an impact on mental health.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — If you checked your Facebook, Whatsapp or Instagram apps Monday then you noticed they didn't seem to work. For seven and a half hours starting at 11 a.m. the apps were down. 

Facebook owns Instagram and Whatsapp and in its last update before restoration, Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer said: 

'*Sincere* apologies to everyone impacted by outages of Facebook powered services right now.  We are experiencing networking issues and teams are working as fast as possible to debug and restore as fast as possible.'

Related: Facebook and Instagram back online after hours-long global outage

While the sites may be back up and running, the impact of the outage is felt loud and clear. 

The outage generated tons of online reaction on other social media platforms like Twitter. All three of the verified Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram accounts on Twitter posted that they were working on restoring service. 

#FacebookDown garnered funny memes along with worrisome tweets about the effects of the outage.

"It's the first thing I checked and then next thing you know I couldn't log in," said Jackson Teague who tried logging on to Facebook in to Monday morning, "I was kind of upset, because I can't scroll through my feed or respond to anybody I know. So I was kind of upset about it." 

Teague said people's lives revolve around social media a lot and if they don't have it there's chaos.

Daniel Lilly agreed. He said he's use to being in Facebook jail so the outage is a soft blow. 

"When I'm in Facebook jail it is kind of hard the first couple of days to not interact with people I've never met in real life, but that are really good friends and live in far places. You don't know what's going on with their lives and it's a part of your daily routine to check in with them," Lilly said.

Jean Hampton said he's not as obsessed with social media, but the outage still had his trying to reload his accounts.

"I thought maybe the internet was down, but I don't, I kept trying and trying. I'm not too big on Instagram. That's for the younger generation, but I'm not somebody that just needs my phone all the time. I can leave it at home. It's not the end of the world," said Hampton. 

Dr. Howard Turney is the head of the social work program at UA Little Rock and said the constant use of social media apps, especially by younger people can build anxiety and depression with the constant struggle of comparing lives online.

"There would be a little panic among folks that are really attached to the Facebook community and the Instagram community, because they get some of their identity from the way that they present themselves and the way others see them," said Turney.

It doesn't help when people have to utilize social media for their jobs. 

With the apps going down for the time it did, it left room for people to rethink how much they rely on them. 

"I think it often depends so much on how much emotional energy that you put into social media. Especially Facebook and Instagram," said Turney.

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