Today we experienced what may be Facebook’s longest time offline since its creation. On the surface, it’s a social media network so it’s not the end of the world (perhaps except for cat video addicts or advertisers who are trying to get their client’s message to the world). And the positive side is, in the absence of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, family members are probably talking to each other again, people are reading books, millions are looking up from their phones, and all is well with the world.
But what’s most interesting about the outage is that it gives us a glimpse into the future of the networked world. For instance, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, reporting for ZDNET said:
As annoying as this is to you, it may be even more annoying to Facebook employees. There are reports that Facebook employees can’t enter their buildings because their “smart” badges and doors were also disabled by this network failure. If true, Facebook’s people literally can’t enter the building to fix things.
He also reported: “There are people now trying to gain access to the peering routers to implement fixes, but the people with physical access is separate from the people with knowledge of how to actually authenticate to the systems and people who know what to actually do, so there is now a logistical challenge with getting all that knowledge unified.
Certainly the pandemic is a factor with the numbers of employees actually working in the office still lower than normal, but when everything is connected, one disconnect has a ripple effect downstream. It’s a good reminder than from time to time, we need to think about our lives outside the matrix.
Maybe we need to keep a set of old fashioned walkie-talkie’s in the garage as a backup…