A hacker attack Thursday shut down the fast-growing messaging service Twitter for hours, while Facebook experienced intermittent access problems.
According to comScore, Twitter had 20.1 million unique visitors in the United States in June, some 34 times the 593,000 a year earlier.
For Twitter users, the outage meant no tweeting about lunch plans, the weather or the fact that Twitter is down.
"I had to Google search Twitter to find out what was going on, when normally my Twitter feed gives me all the breaking news I need," said Alison Koski, a New York public-relations manager. She added she felt "completely lost" without Twitter.
Now that is a rapid move from obscurity to "can't live without it." Technology adoption patterns may be moving in an opposite direction of romance over the course of a life: we are moving from long-term commitments to fleeting, intense relationships with our technology. Of course technology is not left heartbroken when we leave it behind - only the investors in it.