Imagine a world without Twitter and Facebook.
Go ahead, give it a shot.
For a few hours earlier this morning, we were forced to do just that. Twitter was (and as of this writing, still is dealing with the remnants of being) attacked by hackers in an attempt to launch a “denial of service” ambush. Denial of service basically translates to overloading the servers with so much traffic that the targeted site crashes and burns forever. In this case, the main target was Twitter, with other sites like Facebook and LiveJournal catching some of the collateral damage.
It was amazing. I read a story about the attacks later in the morning on one of the major news network’s websites (I’ll give you a hint: it begins with a C and ends with an NN), which described users’ inability to keep up with what was going on in the world due to the outages.
That’s kind of a weird thing for a fucking NEWS NETWORK to say. Re-read that last paragraph carefully, and you’ll see that CNN essentially rendered themselves obsolete by stating that user-driven sites like Twitter and Facebook are better for keeping up with to-the-minute news updates than the news networks themselves. Instead of giving the article a title about the attacks on Twitter, why not just give it the headline: “NEWS NETWORKS BECOME IRRELEVANT?”
At the same time, to say that people had no access to breaking news through the brief downfall of Twitter and Facebook is kind of dubious at best, and downright insulting at worst. I know we’re addicted to technology as a culture, but it’s not like if Twitter went away, people would be suddenly wandering the streets shouting, “OH, SHIT! WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?! I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT DAY IT IS ANYMORE!” There would still be plenty of avenues for people to take on the internet to find the events of the day. Like, oh, I dunno—NEWS SITES.
Now, how do I feel about the whole thing? I’m ambivalent, to be honest. Twitter, as of this writing, still isn’t functioning correctly for me (it’s not posting any of my tweets). But I’m not in some kind of crazy e-rage over it. Granted, I have plenty of tweet-worthy thoughts swirling about in my head that I kinda wish I could broadcast to the world in a brief fit of narcissism, but whatever. I’ll just wait it out. Maybe something newsworthy will happen in Twitter’s absence, like the confirmation of the first Hispanic Supreme Court judge.
What? That just happened a few minutes ago? Well, I’ll be damned. If only I had a user-generated up-to-the-minute source for news, I would have already known that…
OH, SHIT! WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?! I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT DAY IT IS ANYMORE!
Until next time,