TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were down for hours Monday. The social media sites came back online late in the afternoon.

The cause behind the major outage is still unknown.

Each social media giant went to Twitter to get the word out with Facebook tweeting, “We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

8 On Your Side spoke with Dominick Miserandino, who’s been an online media expert for nearly 30 years. He is the head of North America Anivew.com. He says the bigger part of the story is the social impact.

“We’ve not prepared for the alternative means,” Miserandino said. “We’re not used to this degree of the length of time.”

Miserandino says in situations like this one where several social media sites go down, people need to learn to readapt, and, it’s not a bad practice to have backups of your data.

“I do my best to keep a backup copy of things or have more than one means of calling someone, and those practices you don’t remember, you don’t worry about your backup plan until the needs of the backup plan,” Miserandino said.

Gibril Mbowe says he’s always on social media.

“First thing I wake up that’s what I do, go on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat,” Mbowe said.

The 22-year old realized some of his favorite social media sites were down Monday when he tried to post a picture on Instagram.

“My post was like try again,” Mbowe said.

Mbowe says unfortunately right now, social media is everything to many people.

“This generation that’s what they know social media, so if it’s gone a lot of people will be depressed,” Mbowe said.

The outage comes one day after the “Facebook whistleblower” revealed herself in an interview as Frances Haugen. According to the Associated Press, Haugen anonymously filed complaints on research showing that Facebook magnifies hate and misinformation.