A few weeks ago, Twitter users across the globe experienced total inaccessibility to Twitter for about an hour. The disruption came at the peak of the workday for users in the US, causing workers to actually have to do work and bringing tech bloggers to a standstill.

Form most Twitter users, the service disruption was nothing more than a slight inconvenience, but for anyone who integrates tweeting and sending @replies into their day, the service downtime caused a procrastination panic. So instead of hitting refresh on Twitter.com or helplessly hoping TweetDeck will update, here are a five things you can do next time Twitter goes down.

What to Do when Twitter Goes DownChange Your Privacy Settings on Facebook

Facebook has unveiled an entire new set of privacy options, including the ability to lists to define who can and cannot see your updates, as well as allowing Facebook users who are not your friends to subscribe to your public updates so they can read them without adding you as a friend on Facebook. If you don’t have access to Twitter because it is down, consider taking the time to update these options for your own profile for a better Facebook experience.

Update Your Blog

We love Twitter because it is fast and easy to update. With 140 characters, you don’t need to put much thought into a tweet, and it is easy to consume other news and information as well. If Twitter is down, though, consider taking your thoughts to your blog (if you have one) and writing a longer update that expands upon the initial 140 character thought that you would have tweeted. Blog posts don’t need to be long, but if you don’t have the option to tweet — and you have the time to procrastinate — this is an ideal alternative option to Twitter.

Take a Walk

If you work in an office and don’t have a standing desk, you likely spend the majority of your day sitting. You probably even sit on the way to work and during the commute home. If Twitter is down, take the opportunity to go for a short walk, even if it is just to get coffee down the street. You’ll not only also appreciate the fresh air, but likely be energized and ready to get back to actually working when you come back to the office.

Empty Your Inbox

Nobody really likes getting email. Most of it is spam, invitations to meetings, group deals that we don’t need, and other wastes of time. If you have let this type of email clutter piling up in your inbox and drowning out the important messages you do receive, take the opportunity when Twitter is down to delete, archive and/or filter these messages so you don’t have to deal with them anymore. While “Inbox Zero” is actually part of the more comprehensive approach to Getting Things Done (GTD), you can still strive to have an empty inbox without taking on a larger task management system.


If Twitter is down, use the opportunity to actually do something. We both know you spend every five minutes checking Twitter, Facebook, and your other social networks. Should one go down, it will likely be back up soon. Bank your time to procrastinate by actually getting some work done in the meantime.