Is the internet worth it?
Thirty-some-odd years in, it's a question worth asking.
On Monday, a brief but severe outage struck Facebook, bringing down the tech giant’s namesake social network, along with the company’s subsidiary products such as Instagram, WhatsApp, and a host of others. The reaction to the outage was mixed: for many people, it was a chance to revel in the misfortune of a company that’s proven unwilling to change in the face of numerous scandals, but for others—small businesses who use Facebook’s products, the many people worldwide who use Messenger or WhatsApp to communicate—it was a jarring disruption, one that revealed how much we’ve come to rely on technology and how much of that technology runs through a single company.
For some of us, though—especially as Twitter and other unrelated social networks suffered flickers of their own, likely due to an influx of Facebook users suffering from Posting Withdrawal, it was a chance to briefly imagine it all crashing down, a Project Mayhem-like post-digital future where the digital infrastructure of the la…