No, you do not go and scream (well, that is a bit dramatic, but some people were a bit overkill in their reaction) on Twitter as if someone died and flood the social network streams like with the recent Gmail downtime. Rather than wonder and ask like TechCrunch’s post – Why Gmail Failed Today, there are many things you can do.
Please understand that servers will fail at one point. Though most companies even in webhosting promise amazingly high uptime, that does not mean that you should really hold it against them. As for services like gmail, and especially other services that are free, you might become dependant on the service whether your email account is used for business and/or personal reasons.
Here are things you should do.
1. Have an alternate email address in case you are expecting and email. Contact that person and inform them of the temporary change.
2. Really, if you are seeing other people on Twitter, Facebook, or other social networks comment about a site gone down that you also use, remain calm and be assured the issue will be fixed soon. In this case, Google is not conspiring to shut your account down, peruse your email files (unless you have something that is questionable on a legal level) and they are not trying to screw you over (it is free, so there is no reason to pitch a fit.)
3. You could contact the support of the site that is down, but that will be pointless. More than likely they have already been hit with hundreds or thousands of emails in regards to the situation.
4. Go about your business and pretend you are having a vacation from your email. You know, like when you really are suppose to take vacations without being glued to the computer and instead enjoying something less virtual? Some who are addicted to checking their email as if they have a bad case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder will find it painful, but it will be a short pain. Go to other places online you have been wanting to see or work on other projects to pass the time. Read and comment on blogs – connect, interact, influence. Do something other than wallow in misery because your favorite internet service went down.
Though this is written with a hint of amusement, these are great suggestions. You can apply them to anything, not just email. It is not the end of the world if you cannot email for half a day. Just remember to have a backup email address and you will be fine.
What other things would you suggest to others when a site might be down?