What to do when technology fails?

Post ImageLike most people, I rely on technology all day, every day. I consider myself a fairly heavy text messaging user (I send almost 1000 texts a month) and I always have Outlook and Opera open. Oh and instant messaging, though I find myself using that less. Usually things work great, but sometimes things go wrong.

Take today for example. Last night after the movie my text messaging appeared to stop working. I couldn’t send or receive. This is a big deal for me but since it was almost 2 AM, I figured I’d see if it sorted itself out over night. Turns out it did for the most part, but service today has been slow and sporadic. It still isn’t working correctly.

Also last night, Twitter had some unscheduled downtime. Not the end of the world, but I definitely noticed it. And for some reason, Twitter doesn’t recognize symbols (like @ or $) from my phone properly. No one has responded to my tech support request.

Then there was Facebook. Around 8:30 this morning I tried to get into Facebook – no dice. I don’t ever recall having issues with Facebook, but for whatever reason it was down earlier today. I am guessing it was a small glitch of some sort, and it probably didn’t affect everyone.

What’s common between the three? They are consumer facing applications. They are free (well text messaging isn’t, but it’s dirt cheap at $10/mo for unlimited). Generally speaking, consumer facing + free means that support is either not very good or non-existent. Furthermore, there’s not really any agreement on the part of the service to ensure that it performs well and is reliable.

I suppose that’s fine for unimportant communication, but what happens when we use them for something more critical? It used to be that there was a clear distinction between corporate and consumer – lately I think the line is fading. I use text messaging, Twitter, and Facebook for both purposes.

I don’t know how, but eventually this problem is going to need to be addressed.

UPDATE: Apparently the Facebook issue this morning was related to power.

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