Twitter was down for a good 40 minutes today, possibly more. In Twitter time, that might as well be a century.
As I haven’t been on Facebook for over three years now, it allowed me to imagine (for the first time in my Internet life) what things were like before the proliferation of social networks. I was online long before social media of course, but once they came around, it seemed like the most fun thing to do. Even before there was Facebook, I was on Yahoo Groups, X-Files dicussion boards (oh, the shame) and much more. So there was always a social element to much of my online activity.
So when Twitter went down, I admit I found myself a bit… adrift. If I wanted to share something during the outage, I had to do this: blog about it. Now this was only 40 minutes. But it got me thinking about what would happen if Twitter was down for a whole week or a month. How long would be enough to change our online behavior? Would a bunch of people suddenly go back to blogging more or take it up for the first time?
Aside from logistical matters, did anyone else experience a strange, if a bit uncomfortable, state of calm during the outage? It was like being in one of those sensory deprivation tanks. Now, I’ve done this tank thing twice. You go in for an hour. I enjoy the stillness for about 20-30 minutes and the rest of the time, if I haven’t fallen asleep, I start to get antsy. I feel restless and like I’m wasting time when I know I’m suppsed to be relaxing. I know many of you will relate Those that don’t, do you think it’s abnormal to feel this way?
As I was writing this by the way, Twitter went down again. But now I have to feed my baby and at least for a time, my mind will be consumed with other things.