How to Handle the Next Twitter Outage

Yesterday the world seemed a dark, lonely place for millions of Twitter users who discovered the site was down for about an hour beginning around noon, with several subsequent outages of shorter duration. As shockwaves from this event continue to circle the world, we’re forced to confront the terrifying possibility: it could happen again. Although we can’t allow ourselves to live in fear, it’s worth thinking about contingency plans for such an eventuality. What will we do? How will we handle it? Below are some suggestions for dealing with another Twitter outage.


Hold a candlelight vigil with other mourners. Bring your computers and mobile devices; after all, machines also deserve to be able to grieve. At these vigils it may be appropriate to have prayers said by representatives of different religious traditions, both to show respect for multicultural values and also to make sure your bases are covered in terms of the afterlife. Please note that arranging to have 1,000 Buddhist monks chant the Medicine Buddha Mantra may take some doing: think about reaching out to a monastery before the next Twitter outage.


Keep a journal where you write down your feelings about the Twitter outage. Oftentimes, in a traumatic situation it may be helpful to put your feelings into words, so you can begin to process the event cathartically. In the journal you can also write down things that you’d like to tweet and clever hashtags you’d like to use if Twitter were functioning as normal.  Finally, you can write things down that you will tell Twitter when it’s well again, e.g., “Twitter, I never realized how much you meant to me until you were taken away,” “Twitter, I was mad at you for leaving me, but now I understand that’s just because I love you so much.” People can share their journals and “retweet” favorite pages by photocopying them and distributing them to other friends.


Go to a wilderness retreat with your friends and loved ones where you can share your feelings about the Twitter outage in a pristine, natural setting. Sharing your fears and sadness among, say, the spectacular California redwoods can help everyone on the road to recovery. Bring a guitar and sing songs recounting Twitter’s many heroic deeds. Consider building a sweat lodge and summoning animal spirits to help Twitter tap into positive earth energy (Twitter’s spirit animal is the squirrel). 

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