It seems that noon is the magical time chosen by the Gmail elves to abruptly shut things down and throw everyone who uses it into a social media tizzy. We at Consumerist were right there with other Gmail users back during the Great Gmail Shutdown Of April 2012 when the site also crashed around noon ET, and today was like a giant flashback. Everyone make it back in once piece?
A little bit before noon, I noticed my Gmail’s Chat function had disconnected, followed by a 502 Error message with that terribly sad, broken robot when I tried to refresh the page. A quick glance at Twitter and my fears were confirmed — Gmail had gone down in a sudden thunk and everyone was joking about how freaked out everyone would get. All while of course, silently freaking out.
Various reports in the media by CNET, TechCrunch and others show this outage was widespread and hit many Google applications, although it now appears that things are running normally once again. Some users probably weren’t affected at all, as I was able to email my coworkers through my phone’s app and they didn’t notice even a blip in service.
As of 12:39 p.m., Google’s App Status dashboard shows a disruption in service for Gmail and Drive, however, so the disturbance could just be taking its time to ripple outward.
This latest example of a brief blip in service just goes to show once again how dependent many people are on one company, and that very reliance usually leads to Twitter jokes about the world coming to an end if you can’t send a friend a hilarious photo involving a cat and a monkey in human clothing. Clicking on that will go a long way toward soothing your frazzled nerves, I’ll tell you that much.