What To Do In the Case Of A Social Media Apocalypse

What To Do In the Case Of A Social Media Apocalypse

Following recent developments on digital laws, the question that arose was - if the big three - Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - did get banned, where would we go from there?

May 26th had everyone in India on social media go crazy - there were stories with everyone posting their numbers, rumors and alternative social media platforms to add them on, so as to remain in contact - but why?

Why was there such a wave of fear and distress?

In February, the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology announced the ‘Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics code which called for Social media platforms to set up a system to address grievances.

These new rules include putting an end to 'end to end encryption' by enabling accountability and traceability. But along with this, these new rules will appoint an officer with the local law who will primarily be working with the law enforcement to deal with any grievances that users might be facing.

These rules are posing a problem because social media platforms who don’t want to put the privacy of their users at risk or give the government that kind of access, need to conform to the new laws to continue operating in the country. As a result, Whatsapp has gone as far as to even sue the Indian government!

Instagram is one of the platforms that could be banned
Instagram is one of the platforms that could be banned source: Alexander Shatov from Unsplash

In the aftermath of all this information, the primary question that arose was what would happen if major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter did get banned? What are the alternatives and how would anyone use any social media? In this article, we explore the alternative options to our favourite and most used social media platforms!

The Hack:

Okay this one isn't exactly a solution but more of a work-around - you can use a VPN. A VPN or Virtual Private Network works by establishing a secure connection and routing your traffic through a virtual secure tunnel. In simple words, you can ‘trick’ your devices into thinking you’re in a different country - effectively nullifying the imposition of the new cyber laws in India.

This not only would give you access to social media but it also allows you to watch shows and movies from other countries (Incase you didn't know: you didn’t know different country Netflix has different tv shows and movies, with a VPN you can access content from other countries and add a whole new section to your binge watch list!)

There are loads but some of the ones we recommend are ExpressVpn or NordVpn. Although they are paid, they are some of the most secure ones and are widely used and trusted. The best part is, they don’t affect your internet speed like other VPN’s might.

NordVpn is one of the top VPN services around the world!
NordVpn is one of the top VPN services around the world! Photo by Petter Lagson from Unsplash

Alternative Social Medias:

Say you don’t want to pay for a VPN, then what are some alternatives to your favourite social media platforms?

1. Discord

PSA: Discord is not only for gamers! That’s right, Discord is a VOIP, instant messaging and content sharing platform, but their main aim is to create communities! You can have private calls where you can do everything from video and voice calls, share screens but the best part about Discord is the communities, also known as Servers.

Communities are public channels you can join about anything and everything you enjoy - be it specific games, or different hobbies you’re getting into. In these communities you have different channels within the main community about specific topics and you can video or voice call, watch streams, share messages/videos and more!

Discord! Photo by Alexander Shatov from Unsplash

2. Telegram

With Whatsapp being the most popular messaging platform in India, it would truly be a crisis in case the messaging app did shut down in the country. But there's a solution: Telegram. Telegram is a cloud based messaging platform that offers the same features as Whatsapp and also has end to end encryption!

You can save all your data on the cloud which means you save space on your phone and there are also additional features such as more members in a group, channels, usernames and even secret chats that have messages self-destruct! Additionally they also offer bots which are AI programs created to do simple small tasks.

Telegram is quickly rising up to be a great alternative to Whatsapp
Telegram is quickly rising up to be a great alternative to WhatsappPhoto by Adem AY from Unsplash

3. Tumblr

Tumblr is a social networking site created to share videos, text, images and more! Like all the other social media, you can communicate about things that you enjoy doing. It follows a short form blog concept and allows users to post everything under the sun and you can even make your blog private.

Other than the massive personalization to your own dashboard, you can comment, reblog, like posts and upload text posts, images and more along with connecting this to other social media, so you can essentially update everything from one spot. You can also chat and have group chats that vanish within 24 hours!

Front page of Tumblr
Front page of TumblrSource: Tumblr.com

4. MeWe

We don’t blame you if you haven’t heard of this - it doesn’t look like much of a social media platform, but their focus is delivering all the information you get from social media while respecting privacy.

Their business is built on privacy in the sense that they don’t collect any of your data or sell it to big brands and companies - this also means your feed is controlled entirely by you! There are no personalized ads and other then this, you get a texting app where you can text other users and connect.

MeWe, created on trust and built for privacy
MeWe, created on trust and built for privacySource: Google playstore

5. Pinterest

Yes, we know what your thinking - Pinterest, really? Isn’t that the place to get ideas for your next kitchen redesign? Well, Pinterest is an image based social media network where a whole community of people, from small businesses to individual users, expand their horizons and promote their love for certain topics and interests by putting images and videos on a virtual board!

But did you know, you can text on Pinterest? You can send private or group texts to other Pinterest users and your posts also have a longer shelf life where businesses and individuals can catch leads even a month or two later. Other than just being a great platform to share, collaborate and get ideas, it is also a great platform for businesses and startups to advertise and get their brand out there!

Pinterests personal page
Pinterests personal pageSource: Photo by Szabo Viktor from Unsplash

These are just some of the alternatives to the main platforms we use today - currently till date there has been no ban but it’s interesting to see what our alternatives are in a socially driven world. With the amount of social media platforms out there, there won’t be a shortage to get our daily dose, but when picking a new website make sure that you check that its safe and secure to sign up and that you data is respected and safe as well!

Even if nothing is banned, it’s just a needed a break sometimes - when you’re annoyed of the ads or don’t want your personal data being sold to large companies, whether it’s just over crowded or if you actively want to try something new and meet some new people - it’s fun to explore and try new alternatives!

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