Owned by Google

Google went down.

For millions of us in the Civilized World, that was a disaster akin to a nuclear accident – a blinding digital meltdown.

I was left stranded downtown, my Google Glass nothing but a useless, expensive piece of plastic; the “Unable to connect” message flashing ominously straight into my retina.

My GPS maps could not render a Google Earth street view and all of a sudden the city looked unfamiliar, unfriendly, impossible to navigate.

Sweating, I realized that my email was looping endlessly, trying to sync itself to the Gmail servers. I should have shown Microsoft’s alternative more love, I thought to myself.

My friends contacted me using Facebook Chatheads, as Google Hangouts was offline. Those with Google phone numbers went offline as well, isolated from the rest of the world.

Six minutes and thirty seconds into the digital blackout, I switched from Google wireless to my backup mobile provider and called home.

“Where are you? What’s going on? Google TV isn’t streaming anything, I had to switch over to local TV stations and it says Google went offline, how is this possible”, said my wife.

I tried to calm her down, but I wasn’t calm myself.

“Don’t panic, I’ll be home as soon as I can, all self-driving Google cars are offline right now. Please stay calm!” I exclaimed.

There was so much chaos in the streets, you could see the panic in people’s faces as they removed their Google Glass and looked at each other in astonishment.

I removed mine reluctantly, feeling oh so naked and vulnerable without it projecting information and receiving my commands; like a captain on a ship with a broken wheel and torn sails.

Nineteen minutes and four seconds after Google went offline, the lights around town flickered, then the familiar “G” logo re-appeared on the advertising screens.

There was a short pause, then “All Google Services Online” flashed across every digital device in town. My Google Glass vibrated, then chirped happily, downloading email messages. “You are 0.4 miles off your appointment address, calculating new route” said the Google mapping feature, as I put the headset back on.

People looked familiar again, nodding their heads and tapping the side of their Google devices; on occasion whispering commands to the little Google genie inside the machine.

I felt alive again, complete, secure, safe – owned by Google, controlled and guided by the Big G.

After flagging down the next self-driven Google cab I headed home to assess the psychological and physical damage that nineteen minutes of Google downtime had created.


  1. Great post Acro…

  2. Thanks Mark. Scary how close facts and fiction are, these days 😀

  3. This post deserves to be slashdotted. Well done Acro, this is the type of material I like to read from you. Very creative, clever and well written.

  4. Thanks Jason. I believe it took me less than 19 minutes to write, then some minor edits. It’s a Brave New World order, and Google is at a key position of dominance, if you consider the penetration of technology in everyday life.

  5. Excellent post.

  6. I agree with Jason. Well written. Scary though. Peer

  7. Havela – Glad you liked it.

    Peer – Sometimes inspiration arrives in seconds. The story formed as soon as I read CNN’s headline that said: “BREAKING: Google back up – details to follow.”

  8. Good stuff Theo. It’s a +big problem deciding which big brother service to endorse 😉

  9. Was scared.
    Thought it was real.

  10. Luc – Google vs. Microsoft, guess who is the evil one? 😉

    Samson – It *was* real. Google took down a lot more than just its search engine.

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