On Wednesday, 13th May 2009, at 12 noon PST, Twitter went offline for an hour – and triggered the end of the world.
Here’s the timeline of how it happened.
Events occur in real time. They always do – apart from here, that is.
- 12.01: Worldwide alcohol sales spike alarmingly. Over the next half-hour, distillaries go into production overdrive, sending demand for grain shooting through the roof. Across the globe, economies start to yo-yo.
- 12.03: A large proportion of online businesses find themselves unable to promote their products and, panicking, axe the budgets of their more speculative ventures in order to offset future lost profits.
- 12.08: Having been told (by phone or e-mail) that their projects have just been axed, many project members suffer the double blow of not being able to bitch-tweet about it to their friends. Facebook enjoys a brief second golden age, lasting approximately 20 minutes until its server is overwhelmed with traffic.
- 12.15: The traditional nuclear family is starting to break up, as already traumatized people find themselves unable to communicate with their loved ones to seek solace for their professional woes, and cannot bear to leave the computer just in case Twitter comes online again.
- 12.23: 24-hour news networks find themselves unable to sustain a constantly updating flow of news, and anchormen/-women panic in front of the camera, faking news reports or losing their minds.
- 12.25: President Obama, already dangerously sleep-deprived, believes he cannot access Twitter because he has forgotten his password – and while trying to back-door into Twitter using third-party apps and password combinations, accidentally keys in his nuclear launch codes.
- 12.28: News reporting as we know it has died. There is no more news.
- 12.31: Plunged into blind panic by news blackouts and the fact that they can’t find out what’s really going on because Twitter is down (there isn’t even a fail whale. What does this MEAN?), people take to the streets, burning down telecommunications stations and government buildings. Silicon Valley burns wildly. Mountain View goes up like a lake of petrol.
- 12:43: The army is out in force, but cannot coordinate its movements because Twitter is down. Anarchy takes hold.
- 12.57: Send wildly off course thanks to Twitter-based telemetry programs being offline, nuclear warheads rain down on all the civilized countries of the West, and also on France.
- 12.58: China, Russia, India, Pakistan and North Korea fire off everything they have in all directions.
- 1.01: On a few scorched monitors housed in the most protected depths of the bulkiest shattered husks of buildings, the Twitter homepage automatically refreshes to let everyone know they can log in again.