THE WORLD ALMOST ENDED LAST NIGHT
Last night, human beings - regardless of race, sex, religion, or political beliefs - dealt with one of the most dangerous conditions of all time. No, Russia and the United States didn't accidentally fire nuclear warheads at one another. And no, Justin Bieber did not die (it's ok if you were hoping for that one). No, what happened was even worse than those two awful scenarios: Facebook stopped working for thirty minutes.
Millions of people, clinging to their smartphones at 4AM (Eastern Standard Time), gazed deeply at their phone with their mouths aghast. Millions of sweaty fingers pushed on their phone's screen, pulling it down, desperately trying to refresh their Facebook news feed. Nothing worked. Closing the app and turning it back on solved nothing. Restarting the phone met with the same unfortunate fate. Thousands cried, tears flowed as if the cure for cancer was discovered. Many more likely prayed, Tim Tebow style, not wishing for peace in the Middle East or for world hunger to end, but instead for one simple act of God: make Facebook work once again - "just one more time, I swear I'll give a dollar to the next homeless person I see. Alright...five dollars."
It took thirty minutes for those prayers to be answered. Until then, people likely went into fits of rage. Angry at the world around them, thousands likely blamed Obama. A few more likely threw their phones at the wall shattering it into tiny pieces. Many more probably swore up a storm bigger than Hurricane Sandy. Thousands actually went onto Twitter to complain about the Facebook catastrophe. Now, to be fair, there were probably a handful of people who simply went to sleep. Another dozen or so who finished watching Jimmy Fallon. Maybe even another one or two people who breathed a sigh of relief and vowed to give up Facebook and focus on their children instead.
Regardless, the world seemed to end for a moment last night. According to Facebook, it was all because of a "technical failure." This wasn't the first outage for Facebook. In 2010, a similar apocalyptic event occurred when Facebook stopped working due to a "unfortunate handling of an error condition." But that outage lasted almost three whole hours. Yet we survived. We overcame. We lived to see another day. And, assuming Facebook doesn't ever completely shut down, we will continue to live our digital lives (and possibly our real ones). We will continue to be able to like a meme of Willy Wonka leaning over with the words "You have 150 Facebook Friends? You must be so famous." We will continue to see political bickering and ads that have nothing to do with our lives (at least for now; Facebook is working on that one). So, let's hit refresh, and keep moving on. Everything will be ok.