Gmail Goes Down and the World Grinds to a Halt

Or at least it feels that way every time it happens.

Gmail, including Google Apps, went down for about four hours or so this morning (or this afternoon, depending on where you are). It says a lot for Gmail’s reach that when it does go offline, it makes immediate headlines.

Like many, the first thing I do every morning is check my email accounts. When the errors started popping up, I went straight to Twitter Search to be assured I was not alone.

I had other things to do. I could have checked headlines. I could have finished some work that had nothing to do with email. I could have balanced my checkbook. Heck, I could have spent extra time with the morning paper or gone for a brisk walk. But no, I kept trying to load my email while keeping an eye on Twitter. Judging by the tweets, I was not alone.

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I know I’m over-reliant on email. As soon as I saw it was a global problem, I knew Google would resolve it quickly, and they did. But still, it bothered me that it was so difficult to concentrate on anything else until service was restored.

Checking email is part of the web worker’s routine. Does it throw you off kilter when it’s not available? What do you do to pass the time until Google gets the hamsters running again?

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