When people can’t express themselves on Twitter, there’s nothing left to do but work
Twitter went down for an extended time the other day, sparking unrest, outrage and a sudden rise in productivity.
“I think it’s terrible when that happens,” said Sheryl Stevenson, of Norwalk Power Equipment, a company that sells lawn and garden equipment. “How will anyone know how my day’s going?”
As this reporter interviewed subjects for this story, answers were stilted and stated in odd ways. For example, I asked Sheryl about a sudden burst of activity reported at Norwalk. “It was strange. Suddenly, @James and @Sarah were thru w/a pile of wk i thot wud take 4ever!” she said.
I asked Dorris Valebeck at Sunshine Solar in Phoenix Arizona to go into detail about the difference her company experienced when Twitter went down, but her sentences would cut off suddenly after short bursts of information.
“Well, normally, with the amount of paperwork I gave them to do today, it would take about six hours, including time off for lunch, for them –” and she suddenly stopped. After a brief pause, she finished, “– to finish phase one of the job, which entails researching the database for detailed information. Once they have finished that part of the ta –”
It went on like this for quite a while. I tried to stop her, but she kept going in spurts, until I finally turned off my recorder and told her the “service” was “down.” She said, “Oh, not again! Guess I’d better get some work done. Of course, I’ll have to update my Facebook account first…”
As Twitter came back online, millions of tweets about missing Twitter began to flood the feed. “So happy to be able to tweet again – work is SO boring,” read one. “btw, b4 it stopped, fyi, i was listing all the times John Travolta said “Caribbean cruise” in movies. ok, off to fb #work #twitter #fb” read another.
Company CEOs I interviewed all said the spike was a nice side-effect, but that it’s impossible to keep their employees off Twitter.
“They’re going to get on there one way or another — internet, smart phones, you name it. But we’re listening and watching. They know it. They keep in line pretty…” he said, stopping suddenly to check his Twitter account.