This happened while most folks in North American slept, so the fact that there aren't mushroom clouds on the horizon is strictly a matter of timing. Among the various social media platforms out there - including Facebook, Instagram and even Pinterest - Twitter is often seen as the one that everyone turns to when big news is happening. Because of the way it's built, it works nicely as what I like to call the Internet's early warning system.
So when that early warning system goes dark, where does everybody go? They take to Facebook and any other tool they can get their hands on. And they complain. Because nothing fixes an outage like a good whine.
The service is slowly coming back up: It'll load for most people, but posting new Tweets is a bit hit-and-miss. I guess the data centres need some tea. Which gives us all time to reflect. Here are some things to keep in mind the next time Twitter - or some other important-to-you social media or message service - goes down:
- You don't pay for the service. So no one owes it to you.
- There are many other tools and services out there. As you would do in a traffic-jammed commute, simply take another road.
- This is not a tragedy. Walk the floor of any ER or cancer ward, or take an all-expenses-paid tour of Mosul or the beaches of Lesbos for a reality check on how the word should be defined. This, OTOH, is a simple inconvenience.
- There was life before Twitter. Once upon a time, not so long ago, we all lived rather nicely without any kind of social media. Amazing, isn't it?
- Silence can be golden. Sometimes, all it takes to snap us back into some kind of balanced perspective, is a little time away from the technologies that make it so easy to lose that balanced perspective. Maybe being temporarily unable to share every last snippet of your life in selfie-lensed grandeur is actually good for the soul.