So, Gmail was (relatively)briefly off-line yesterday, causing a cascading digital freak out. The #gmailfail in turn begot the #failwhale as within minutes, hundreds — yes, hundreds — began to process their experience of the disconnect via Twitter.
Personally, I was more curious and amused than upset. I get a few personal emails a day but the bulk of my Gmail is from other software programs, like my calendar, task updates, reminders, and Twitter. Ironically, when Gmail came back up, the only mails I had at the moment were copies of tweets about the Gmail outage.
Earth-shattering or not, events like this do bring up serious issues. The wisdom of mass reliance on “the cloud,” how much backup redundancy is too much, is Google the handmaiden of Satan, etc. I’m always sobered when I’m brought face to face with just how much digital and/or gadgetry assistance I rely on to get around, so I understand completely the more crazed responses from yesterday. Gmail isn’t my major crutch, but I have others. I grow increasingly reliant on them, they become mission-critical, my attachment and connection deepens, tools become more than tools. Some become addictions.
ZDnet ranthis feature a few weeks back:
the technology that you simply can’t do without in your everyday
life, for the one gadget that no one’s going to take from you unless
it’s pried from your cold, dead fingers : Dead Finger Tech.
These are mine:
1Password – remembers all my online passwords, so I don’t have to. I’ve been without it a few times and I was dead in the water.
Jott andToodle-do. Task keeper and voice-driven messaging service that I use in unison, and separately, to keep myself on target and GSD (get shit done). Some people ridicule this kind of thing but I’m dependent on it. I’m not a linear thinker, just not wired that way, nor would I want to be. My thought process works for me, I’ve learned to appreciate it for creative reasons, but it doesn’t lend itself to staying on task.
Google calendar sync. In my own real life, I use Google calendar. At work I have to use Outlook. I’ve learned through trial and error that keeping two separate calendars is counter productive to my ability to stay on schedule in either place. This syncs up my two worlds. When it fails, I’m lost in the ether between.
iPod Touch and myG-1. Between the two of them, carry all the above, plus music and other entertainment, my address book, maps and other vital reference data. These two are my warp core. As they go, so goes my nation.
How about you? What are you naked without?