What My Online Community Means to Me – Jackie Dana
Monday morning, I set my gigantic coffee cup down and woke my computer.
All of my browser tabs were closed, and the bookmarks bar was gone. Sighing, I opened a new tab and typed in ‘Facebook.com’. The page returned a ‘404 Page Not Found’ error.
What the hell?
I glanced at my router. My email worked fine, though there were only a couple of new messages. The emails from writing clients were gone, as were those from a neighbor and the Texas Freelance Association. There wasn’t a single Meetup.com event email for my writing or social media meetups, nothing about Indie Publishing Austin, and no blog updates.
Thinking it was just my computer. I reached for my phone. The icon for Facebook had disappeared, as well as those for Twitter and Goodreads, Spotify and Eventbrite.
What’s going on? Freaking out, I googled each service. No results found. I opened my phone contacts. There were only a few names. I called one of the few names left, but my friend claimed she had never heard of that ‘Face thing’, even though I saw her post yesterday.
My brain was hurting. I tried YouTube for a funny cat video to calm down, but again, I got a 404 error.
Whatever. I need to get to work. Last night I had spent three hours writing web copy for a client that came from Austin Freelance Gigs, but now I couldn’t find it. In fact, there was no freelance writing folder at all.
My phone rang. “Are you planning to come to work today?” asked my old boss.
Thanks to my online community, I had been freelancing for the past year, and thanks to the TFA Jumpstart program I was building a consulting business. Or so I thought—it was all gone. No longer did my calendar display three meetings and a lunch date coming up this week. All I found was a doctor’s appointment. No upcoming events like BlogathonATX or The
Tears started to fall. No dog or cats were there to comfort me—like everything else, I had found them online. I felt so alone, since nearly every friend I had started as an online interaction or from an event that had been organized or promoted online. I reached for my Kindle, but it was empty. All of the indie published books were gone.
To hell with the ‘good old days’.
As a last resort, I called the cable company. They assured me everything was fine on their end (don’t they always?) but suggested I try rebooting my router.
How’s that going to bring my friends back? I shouted into the phone, but did as they suggested.
And just like that, my community was back. I smiled, and clicked on the first cat video in my feed.