The message appears in black font over a red background, top center on your computer screen: "Gmail is temporarily unable to access your contacts. You may experience issues while this persists."
Cue the hair-pulling, the screaming, and the kind of foot-pounding that causes pieces of plaster to spiral down on your neighbor's head.
Because seriously: Who actually knows more than a few email addresses off-hand? Just as cell phones have allowed us to forget important digits, auto-fill technology has allowed us to forget all those important email addresses. And when that technology breaks, we all panic.
But if it makes you feel better, you're not alone.
Thousands of users flooded Twitter today with reports of Gmail malfunctions, from general outages to the accursed missing contacts. According to Reuters, the technical problem was widespread. Google, meanwhile, has remained silent on the issue – nothing about the contacts problem was mentioned on the Gmail blog, and spokespeople for the company have not returned calls for comment.
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