The Day the Tweeting Died

Thursday, 06 August 2009

The red and green line MBTA trains are “delayed”–which means down. Twitter is down, totally dark and inaccessible. Facebook is spotty and full of error boxes and “oops!” messages. I’m pretty sure the world is ending and we have no way to warn each other.

Think about it: if something horrible was going to happen, it would be pretty easy to get mainstream media in on the cover-up. But Twitter and Facebook are wildcards; the amount endoftheworldand speed of information on these networks is astounding. And it’s not unheard of for governments to block these sites in order to contain information. So while I fully admit that I have a vivid imagination and it has been exceedingly hot these past few days, I’m wondering if all these failures can be chalked up to coincidence.

I’m sure the official story will come out as three totally unrelated freak power outages, or weather related disturbances or something. But I tend to obsess and worry over things and I did watch Knowing a few weeks ago…

Even if today turns out to be a fluke, it’s made me reflect on what a major role Twitter  plays in my life. As I was sweating and cursing the MBTA on my long walk to find a cab, I was furiously Tweeting my frustrations, but to no avail. That outlet usually helps me diffuse some anger, but today, I was stuck with it all bottled up inside. When something goes wrong, or right, I turn to Twitter for support, validation or congratulations. And while that may sound funny, what I’m really getting his human camaraderie. Twitter is kind of like my shrink, or my diary–if my diary talked back and my shrink and I hung out 24-7.

In a few hours I will be proved crazy when Twitter has a totally plausible reason for going off the grid. And then my psychiatric support system will take over and all will be right with the world. But for now, think about how lost you feel right now, and remember that the next time someone says Twitter is stupid.

UPDATE

Here’s the real deal behind yesterday’s social media short circuit: Distributed Denial Of Service (DDOS) attacks on sites where a “Cyxymu,” a Georgian blogger, was known to have accounts (LiveJournal was included, but, obviously, I use WordPress so I was out of loop on that one). Reports state that 3 or more sites were brought down or slowed considerably in an attempt to silence this mouthy media user.So hey, I wasn’t that far off.

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