In the Eye of the Storm: What Hurricane Sandy Taught Me about Social Media and Technology

As a resident of downtown Manhattan, my family and I were affected by Hurricane Sandy. But the worst that happened to us was losing power and water, and having to walk up and down 28 flights of stairs to get ourselves and our stuff out of our apartment so we could move to our dear friend’s apartment on the Upper East Side (where we are now totally safe and comfortable). Our kids feel displaced and are missing their routines and friends, and my husband and I are inconvenienced and feel, strangely, like tourists in our own city. But that’s the worst of it. This is obviously NOT a poor me story.

But this experience has opened my eyes to a few things. In addition to teaching me about the enduring kindness of strangers in this supposedly rude and impersonal digital age, this experience has taught me a few new things about the role of technology and social media in my life and in the life of my family. Here are two that have been on my mind:

The Importance of Physical versus Digital Neighbors. After the power went out, the kids on our floor were pretty much technology-free. What did they do? We opened the doors of our apartments, and the kids (including our one-year-old) ran out into the hallway like it was a backyard. Our neighbor Patricia said we should put down grass. The kids brought out toys and started playing store, house, battles, throw and catch, gymnastics. They found a collapsed cardboard box, and like all children, found that to be the best toy of all. My one-year-old got rides on the box from her brother, who would pull her around the hallway. Kids went freely from apartment to apartment. They played with each other like never before. I felt like I was living in an idealized American neighborhood (think Leave it to Beaver, I guess, which makes me June Cleaver? Jeez, you can’t control what leaps to mind can you?). Our doors were open and we fed each other’s kids lunch.   Essentially, we dealt with the loss of power by reaching out to our immediate social network in concrete ways. This simple neighborliness was immensely helpful and satisfying. All it took was walking across the hall. In my mind, no digital social network could be as satisfying in the circumstances we were facing. Of course, digital social media and mobile technologies are incredible tools for getting things done – communicating, getting information, keeping up-to-date, seeking and offering support. But, Sandy reminded me of how isolated, on a visceral level, we may start to feel when we forget to just be with the people around us.

Embodied Technology and Phantom Limbs. My iPhone went kaput (got water in it somehow) on Tuesday. This was horrible timing of course because I couldn’t update anyone about our status. But, as many have observed (e.g.,   JOMO) we often experience great relief and happiness when we can disconnect. However, I wasn’t just feeling happy about shedding the burden of being constantly connected.  I was worried and exhausted about my present moment and didn’t have the energy to look outside my current circumstances to communicate with others. I was fairly overwhelmed with getting the kids to safety. Communicating with our digital social network wasn’t going to help at that moment.

At the same time, I observed that this relief was mixed with some panic. How do I get what I need if I don’t have a phone? Luckily, my husband’s phone was working so we definitely had communication, but I, MYSELF, didn’t have a phone, and that was unnerving. Why would that be? I wasn’t disconnected, because I was with my husband and he was connected. Why did I feel disconnected?

To me, this speaks of the psychological aspect of having mobile devices that keep us constantly connected. It’s an embodied experience, having a device in your hand. And you feel it when it’s gone. Like a phantom limb: once you’ve lost the limb, you can still feel it itching. As humans, we’ve evolved to attach to other beings and to things. We anthropomorphize objects and devices so that we can feel a connection to them. Mobile technologies, because they are so deeply about social access and connection, may be high jacking this fundamental aspect of being human. All I know is that once I got uptown, I ran to the Apple store on 5th Avenue (thank you helpful Apple Genius) and got a new phone.

My family and I came out of the storm in great shape and we feel immensely lucky. For me, the biggest take-home message was that when technology is gone, or compromised, my appreciation for the people around me is that much sweeter.

About these ads
Leave a comment

118 Comments

  1. At this digital age people forgot the natural connecting which our parents had. I remember that when I was a kid we played often outside with friends, hide and seek or other games, talked and walked for hours, and only my analog phone, was a way to reach me. I find this time, warm and friendly, with too many unforgettable moments.
    With today’s technology people somehow lost ‘personal self’ and how ‘true’ connections are established. We often think physical is not important, but there are some moments, inevitable moments, reminding us simplicity of living is what is important and how to appreciate all small things which life offers to us.
    Anyway, really glad that you and your family are ok, and wish you all well.

    Sandra

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment and well-wishes Sandra! It’s funny, I feel a mix of that same nostalgia for the days when we were free from being constantly available (i.e., the analog world) and an immense appreciation for what mobile technologies afford me. I wouldn’t go back in time but I’m reminded to make choices now that help me enjoy and anchor myself in the present and in the people around me.

      Reply
      • I too am thankful for technology and the revolution it caused. I use it everyday and can say I could not live without it. However, I wonder if we are going to forget how it is to communicate with each other without support of modern gadgets.

    • This really is true. Talking with someone through a device is just not the same as having a heart-to-heart face-to-face talk with someone. Technology really is grand, but once in a while, it’s good to relax without the constant beeping and buzzing drone of cell phones, computers, and iPods.

      Reply
  2. It’s interesting that you felt disconnected yet your children seemed more accepting of the situation. But then children are more flexible because they are always expected to adjust to whatever situation we put them in. I’ve thought for some time now about how much we rely on our electronic lifestyle and how fragile things are and how vulnerable it makes us. This catastrophe only highlighted it. Thanks for the fantastic post and the insight.

    Reply
    • Wow, you’re so right. I haven’t really thought about the flexibility of my kids. They are pretty amazing. I’ve seen my four-year-old mature in front of my eyes this past week- looking for ways to be helpful, being more patient, singing little songs to make mommy laugh. And my one-year-old has been a delight. Thanks for reminding me of the little miracles we call children.

      Reply
  3. Your description of the kids playing in the hall reminds me of my childhood. That was my life every moment of free time I got – out on the street with billy carts or swinging from trees or building fortresses in the backyard or waging war in the acres of natural bushland abutting our property. All the kids played together and ate together and lived their lives together.

    Our street once turned into a raging river when the creek broke its banks and flooded the low-lying houses on the flood plain (luckily, our house wasn’t affected), so some kids slept at our place for a few nights.

    No one had mobile phones when I was growing up. I didn’t own a mobile until I was 19 and in university. Things have really changed in the last 10 years.

    Reply
    • It reminds me of my childhood, too :). After the storm I brought out a bunch of sheets and blankets and encouraged the kids to turn our living room into a fort. Because that is what I would have done as a kid and I think it would have made me feel better.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  4. www.marvalously.wordpress.com

     /  November 3, 2012

    As the saying goes in my country, “I feel you”. The reason is that I have experienced the same thing. As a Caribbean person, we experienced dislocation due to hurricane, storm or tropical depression yearly.
    Every year, we notice how far apart technology and our busy lives have made us. Hurricane Tomas of 2010 was one of these times. We lose our electricity and water for days. That was when the generation gap closed. All age groups came out in the road (we live in the Caribbean), the old and young shared tales; played games… there was a lot of inter-generational teaching.
    After the lights came back on, we realised how much we had gain from the big disconnect of television, ipods, smart phone etc.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for your comment. It’s inspiring to think of how beautifully your community came together, and that it’s something that you cope with again and again. I feel that while we have some of this strong community here in post-Sandy NYC, there are some serious fractures. There is a lot of suffering and people aren’t sure how to come together.

      My husband’s family is from the Caribbean so I like the “I feel you” :).

      Reply
  5. Lub-Dub

     /  November 3, 2012

    The question is now that you’ve got your phone back have you gone back into your old ways?

    Reply
    • Ah, that is the question. :) Having made this blog post and now enjoying people’s interesting comments, I guess I am going back to my “old ways.” But I feel less interested in FB and texts and I’ve been calling people a bit more…..

      I feel that my relationship with mobile technology is constantly evolving and maturing. I’m getting over the excitement of it all and figuring out how these technologies can make me happier rather than allowing them to be just another demand and burden in my life.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Reply
  6. What a great post! Thanks for sharing this. It’s funny because i’m in the news business and therefore ALWAYS on my iPhone, MacBook or office computer. I’m never disconnected. I feel this same way though when we go camping and the computer stays in the trunk and phone off, obviously not as serious as Sandy. Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Thanks! It’s interesting to play with that feeling of connection and disconnection. I’ve started taking weekend days off to see how my family life changes. Usually, I feel that it brings us closer (but I am a little more stressed with catch-up on Monday ;)).

      Reply
  7. First off: Glad to hear that you and your family are doing well!

    Secondly, I can really relate to your experience of feeling disconnected, simply when not being able to connect via electronics. I recently returned from traveling for 7 months, and I shut my cell phone off for the entire trip. It didn’t take too long to get used to not being able to text and call my friends and family on a whim while being away, I learned to be patient even while lonely, but, trying to find alternative ways to get into contact with people that I had to meet along the way was certainly a bit more trying.

    The most difficult situations I found myself in, on the other hand, where those when I had an entire day(or sometimes even two or three!) that I couldn’t even find a place to connect to the internet — check my email, or send an email, write to mom. It’s amazing that so quickly, within one day of being completely disconnected like that I would feel so lost and alone. And only be the mere fact of not having the opportunity to.

    A strange reality of our new “limbs.”

    Hope you are all back up and running, I know my aunt in Manhattan just got hers back over the last evening! Take care!

    Reply
    • What a great point. Expectations have everyone to do with it! Thats really something that bears thinking about.

      And going 7 months sans constant connection! That must have been an eye opener.

      Glad your aunt got her power back! We have power but no heat, so we’re waiting another day or two to go home.

      Reply
  8. Reblogged this on MetaRead360 Small Press presents and commented:
    NOTE: Read the value of physical versus digital neighbors…

    Reply
  9. First and foremost, I am glad to hear you and your family are safe and came through this historic ordeal not much worse for the wear. I wish that were so for so many other families, especially those who lost loved ones. Your article was an incredible and necessary read. You stated your feelings and your take-a-ways with so much insight and clarity, it can not but help serve to enlighten your grateful readers, of whom I am one. And, you resisted the drift into idealizing our “pre-iPhone” days, which would be a denial that we, as humans, are an evolving species, and our technology is an essential part of who we are. Will we die without our gadgets? Of course not. But you wonderfully acknowledge how we assimilate these technologies, and appreciate them when we have them. Your children are resilient, as children are, and segued into cardboard boxes and the power of their imagination wonderfully. Their x-box had not, after all, crushed their intellectual curiosity and capacity. I have read several accounts of “how wonderful and freeing” losing our technologies in this storm was. Bullshit. It was a major inconvenience and it sucked. Those same people, I am sure, plugged their precious phones and laptops in the moment the power was back. But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the opportunity and reminder that we are all people first, geeks second. Hope you never have to experience such an extreme reminder again, as much as I know you will not forget the lesson you have so beautifully imparted to us. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much. I agree completely with you that appreciating being disconnected should not be confused with glorifying it! Only after I had posted did I start to worry about whether I was coming across as romanticizing the power loss. With so many people suffering so much, that is the last thing I want to do! I’m glad that you read it in the spirit it was intended.

      Reply
  10. First, I am glad for your family’s safety. I grew up in CT, an hour outside of NYC, but have lived in the South (Gulf Coast) for half my life now…I still have many friends up north having similar experiences to yours. I smiled at your mention of the delight of the cardboard box–my two children (ages 7 and 3) and our next door neighbors’ kids (9, 7, and 2) spent almost an entire Saturday outside in an empty water heater box. They decorated it, filled it with snacks and supplies, and pretended it was all sorts of different things. I love seeing them enjoy simple things with extraordinary imagination!
    As for technology, I have mixed feelings. I crave the connection with friends, my parents, family, and my husband while he is at work–instant messages for a quick question, prayer request, or funny story…but I see how distracting it can be, even if it’s just my little girl and me at home. I try always to keep my iphone on vibrate so there aren’t random dings and rings as I’m playing and talking with her. My husband is a physician and I can’t imagine him doing his job without having his phone always with him–but again, he does his best to set a protective fence around our family time so that home is *home*.
    I’m sorry for the circumstances of your disconnectedness technologically speaking, but glad for what you experienced relationally! Blessings to you as you return to normal as soon as possible! Our family’s prayers are with all those affected by this storm.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much! What a beautiful sight it must have been, seeing your kids playing with the water heater box all afternoon. I think you raise a great issue – that there are times we can’t escape the “dings and rings” but that if we’re mindful about keeping family time sacred, these devices can be just like any other tool we have. And tools are things that we should be in control of, not they in control of us! :-)

      Reply
  11. That connection with neighbours and community is such a positive thing to come out of this..I’m with you on technology..my mobile phone is a safety blanket but I think wistfully back to when they didn’t exist in my world..or even the internet!

    Reply
  12. After being just about nocturnal for a week, loathing the neighbors who had electricity, I came to realize the role technology took in my life. I had no internet *sigh* and no lights, and after a week of acting cave-like and barbaric in a sense, it almost seemed like angels were pouring their light unto me when I flipped the light switch and realized I had power.

    Reply
    • Oh, I hope I didn’t come across as underestimating the horribleness of losing power! I’m so sorry for what you went through. I did not go through it. My experience is about a small and subtle shift in my access to technology. And it’s about my renewed appreciation for my face-to-face social network.

      Reply
  13. As I am in Kentucky, I was pretty well out of Sandy’s reach, but all my family is in MD and Virginia, so it’s not like I didn’t care… That said, what Sandy taught me about social media is that even something as scary/exciting/(insert whatever other adjective seems appropriate) as a hurricane can get annoying when 200+ of your friends are ALL commenting about the SAME thing on Facebook/Twitter. :/ I love having my computer and stuff like that, but as you already pointed out, people are way too attached to their “toys,” to the point where they neglect their real-time friends and family in favor of their gadgets… (As I type this I realize I’d be one of those people, sitting here with company and typing away.) o.O

    Reply
  14. I live in Jersey City, NJ and I went through some of the same experiences. Spoke to some of my real neighbours for the first time. Our phones were working with fairly good 3G but not the internet and that made us go through exactly the same feeling of insecurity that you’ve described about lack of connectivity. I wondered about going back to writing in long hand.

    Reply
  15. You know, I remember thinking something when people my age (middle-aged) talk about how “young people today” are addicted to their phones and mobile crap, and how they would grow up to be so totally different from everyone who went before, and how their brains were being reshaped by all of it … and that thing I was thinking was:

    “They will get sick of the constant 24/7/365 stimulation and be SO OVER all of this horseshit by the time they are 30. Stop freaking out.”

    It’s happening. Daily. The “addicted to Facebook” generation is going to also be the first generation to get off of FB en masse. Hell, MY generation was actually the first to be “addicted” to the Internet back when it consisted of Usenet, ytalk, and BBSs. WE got over it, too.

    People forget this.

    Reply
    • You raise a really great point. I agree that once the novelty wears off, we’ll all become a little less crazy about these devices. At the same time, I do wonder if there is something a little more addictive and unique about mobile devices – immediate, rewarding, with you all the time. Every ding is like a little hit to the reward centers of our brain….but hopefully, this too shall pass. :-)

      Reply
      • That’s true — they are sort of like the empty calories of the brain. They concentrate typical stimuli to a level that the brain just wasn’t evolved to handle, and much like the human pancreas and the constant availability of crap food, I can see how it could become a problem.

  16. I am glad you and your family are okay from Sandy now. Many aren’t as lucky as you in NY!

    Reply
  17. You are absolutly correct it is as if we are wired to be wired. We need to communicate with each other and we find it satisfying regardless of which level we are communicating, just as long as we are doing it. It is fundamental like making sure you and your offspring are safe. Thanks for saying telling us in such a way that it touches people.

    Reply
  18. It’s already a great blessing when you and your family are well after the storm. The chance to get disconnected is always a blessing for me. I make it a point to get disconnected even for 1 day every week as I want to have more time for myself and my personal relationships. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post.

    Reply
  19. Great message, and so glad to see something like this Freshly Pressed. Congrats, and so good that you’re safe. :)

    Reply
  20. I sometimes leave my house without a phone and have really reduced my use of technology, because it actually makes me feel connected with my immediate world.

    Reply
  21. So glad you and your family are OK.

    We recently moved an have changed time zones by six hours. While I love posting photos and statuses on facebook because many of our friends and family have been curious how we’re doing, I’ve been much more interested in sneaking in phone calls during the right time so I can inform them of how everything is going and the new places we’re exploring.

    The time difference has really changed how I can connect, because I only have a few hour time period now where I can connect with my loved ones, and texting back and forth really isn’t getting the job done.

    Reply
    • I never thought about the issue of time zone change. It’s a sort of natural experiment – your “immediate” social media use is constrained. I wonder if your social media use is more productive and satisfying, and less of a distraction, because of that…..

      Reply
      • I haven’t had the opportunity to really test that. I think in a way it’s definitely less distracting because there is hardly an immediate contact. I feel like it is more productive because I’m getting on line with a purpose, to create a blog post, or to check on my best friend who I hadn’t been able to talk to in a week. So far I guess I’d definitely say so far it’s way more productive and purposeful.

  22. epilepsymeandneurology

     /  November 4, 2012

    this is a really intereasting article and blog. I am glad you and your familiy are ok. i recently deactivated my facebook account. Everyone thought i had flipped, but I was beginning to feel like my mind was floating in the ether. its really nice to come into physical connection with myself and those around me. Of course its terrible the circumstances that have caused you to have to take a step back from technology, but it seems you have found the upside! i have found technology like mobile phone to be life saving in particular because of the rural nature of my home, but I really worry what all this is doing to my brain! There is nothing like knowing the connection between other people on a face to face and embodied level. If we didn’t all connect outside of technology then we might never wake up from the MATRIX! :)
    Good luck with sandy recovery.

    Reply
    • Thank you. Yes, I think more and more people are getting off of FB – people talk about what a distraction and burden it can become. Once it seems more work than fun, it’s probably time to go :-).

      Reply
  23. Your post made me think how funny and odd our feelings can be in this new technological era. I mean, you went through one of the biggest storms NY has ever seen lately, and although it made you value the importance of ‘physical neighbours’, still were you kind of worried about being disconnected. Like you, I’m sure loads of people shared the same feeling; some softer, and some more extreme. We depend so much on technology, even for ‘status update’ that we forget that being with people can be much more satisfying than tweeting, that human and physical support are the drive for society to go on. How much will our feelings be conditioned by technology? Sometimes, when I fly, thoughts about the possibility of the plane crashing cross my mind and in the middle of all my ideas there’s one like ‘I have to jump with my laptop – can’t leave it behind’. However, when I go for holidays, I love letting my mobile at home and feel completely disconnected. What a paradox! I read a blog the other day (bit.ly/Rrxlgp) that I very much enjoyed. It is the story of a woman that shut down all her social media accounts. You’ll probably enjoy reading her perspective.

    Cheers,
    Nadia

    Reply
    • Thanks, Nadia, for your comments and that blog recommendation! You raise a really important point that our feelings are very wrapped up in our technology. I think we forget about that!

      Reply
      • I guess we forget because we need to fit in. For instance, if one doesn’t know anything about technology, it’s harder to get a job.

  24. Great observations! It makes me want to go rip the iphones and ipods out of the hands of every child I see. They need to play and interact. Isn’t it wonderful when that happens?

    This reminded me of when Hurricane Ike’s winds swept across Ohio a few years ago. We were without power for a week and it was the first time we met all our neighbors! None of us really needed anything. It was easy enough to drive a few miles to places where there was electricity. But when we were home, there was nothing to do but sit outside and talk with each other. You know- be neighborly. It was wonderful!

    Reply
  25. Enjoyed reading your blog.

    Reply
  26. What a great Post. So good to hear a real life account of the terrible storm you endured.

    Reply
  27. “Like a phantom limb: once you’ve lost the limb, you can still feel it itching.” Where I am in NJ about 15 miles from the shore, I consider myself lucky to have been without power for only 3 days. Still, the itch you speak of was a constant. It is interesting how much you miss the connection, yet find other ways to make things work. Reliance on candles, creativity and doing things like playing cards and reading by sunlight helped pass time and made me realize that every so often, its good to put down our bevy of tones and taps and re-direct our focus. Thanks for a great post!

    Reply
  28. I hope you and your neighbours will continue this “open-door policy”. At least that would make something good come out of the storm.

    Reply
  29. Loved your post. Glad your family is safe. After reading your article, I want to invite my neighbors over for brunch and get to know them a bit better. Funny thing is, in the suburbs, it seems the only people that really interact with each other are those that have kids. I’m not even sure they would accept the invitation.

    Reply
    • Thank you! We sort of assume neighbors don’t know each other in the “Big City” but really this happens everywhere. Perhaps we feel connected enough to our digital social network and just don’t make as much effort? We’re not as trusting? But perhaps it’s as simple as being overextended – Sometimes I feel so exhausted by all the things that I have to do every day that meeting new people/getting to know acquaintances better is just not high on my list.

      Reply
  30. I loved this story, so beautifully written. It sounds as if we conceive of digital and pre-digital lifestyle as separate from one another. Whereas a little balance would make our lives so much richer and complete. But I guess this is how the human mind works: it tends to fully embrace the new and discard the old as ineffective or fulfilling. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Reply
    • Thank you! I so agree with you that it’s about the balance. I think after the excitement about all these new tools dies down a bit, we’ll all move towards more balance.

      Reply
  31. This is all well and good but I think the kids next door could use more time in
    frount of the computer – They Never Stop Screaming! – Though not having
    their four-wheelers and golf carts to ride up and down the street might be
    good for them. I’ve been to new york and found that people there were
    actually quite nice. I liked how you could go eveywhere without having to
    own a car. I live in Louisana and totally freak every time hurricane season
    rolls around – but fortuneately I have never lost a house. I am not a social
    person, so computers offer protection from my least favorite animal – homo
    sapians – no offence – disaster brings them too close from comfort, though –
    during rita I learned things about my family I could have died happily without
    knowing. My grand mother scolded me for using non-disposable plates to
    feed the dogs – (There was no trash pickup so I was after everyone not to
    create garbage) Later – days after the ordeal – she was fine with using
    her best china to offer scraps to my uncles pit bull – hideing my laughter
    was difficult – I honestly don’t think she noticed what she doing – thanks
    for the article – I for one don’t don’t carry my phone around with me so
    I never had to deal with the loss of it. You make an interesting point though.
    Tecnology often changes our perceptions of the world around us.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment. I have to agree with you that playing on the computer is definitely quieter and people are often easier to deal with via text/FB/etc,… :-). I’ve been very inspired by the kindness of New Yorkers in the wake of Sandy. That is something you can only fully experience face-to-face ;-).

      Reply
      • I am currently publishing a book and I do prefer to
        meet people face to face when doing expensive business transactions –

  32. Your story was beautifully and eloquently told how a powerful, disruptive act of nature, reconnected you to your real face-to-face community. Many of us have conveniently, without question disconnected parts of our world and in-person contact for superficial social media interaction. It’s up to us as individuals to honestly weigh the value of so much technological reliance impacting our self-interests. We can no longer depend on corporate media outlets to present non biased information to help advise us.

    Thank you for your essay, which helped to reminded me… of the painful and tragic disasters, which are often unavoidable in life — also most importantly reveal valuable lessons for giving meaning and strength to help guide us.

    Namaste ~

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comment. I really agree with you that we must all strive to become wiser in how we integrate these tools into our lives. I think we’ll all get a lot better at it in the coming years, as the novelty starts to wear off and we can take a step back to weigh the pros and cons.

      Namaste

      Reply
  33. Reblogged this on Community & Family Preparedness and commented:
    Wonderful article! I hope you do not mind a reblog to my site!

    Reply
  34. Being attached to technology can have it’s downside and yes, I agree with you, being detached from it will surely make you appreciate the people around you and life as well much more better!

    Reply
  35. Glad to know you came through the storm with limited damage. I watch the coverage showing the unbelievable destruction as well as having to deal with everything gone and I know how blessed we are that are safe and sound. It is good for your children to re-connect with their neighbors and realize kindness still exists.

    Reply
    • Having that silver lining you speak of truly was a blessing. The disparities among New Yorkers in terms of their experience of the storm is shocking – if you pick someone off the street of any neighborhood, you don’t know whether you’ll hear a story of total devastation or whether that person felt almost no effects at all.

      Reply
  36. I’m so glad you are all safe and turned a negative situation into a positive one. I found your story inspiring. we were born to be a community and when all is stripped away , that is an instinct deep inside us that gravitates up to the forefront and reminds us of what we can do best ;0)

    Reply
  37. Due to social media we are all so informed! This should spur us more to help out. Thanks for posting

    Reply
  38. It is ironic that I sit here reading this whilst my own kids are sat around the table drawing and colouring, after much debate about the TV not being allowed on!

    It is true that technology keeps us informed, updated and gives us the ability to communicate like never before. But the reality is that we are now so insular as a society, barely speaking to our neighbours, to the extent that an old man can lay dead in his apartment for 10 months before being discovered.

    I sincerely hope that good folks like you continue to be vocal and share your experience, but also build on it. Community used to mean a great deal more than it does now. We NEED to get back to that reality, and soon for our children’s sakes.

    Because let’s face it we are all to ready to accept the mind numbing escapism offered by TV, the Internet, Gaming consoles et al. It is an addiction which is costing Western Society its intellect!

    Great article and thank you again for sharing. I think I may write something on my blog too!

    http://qookumba.wordpress.com/

    Reply
    • Thank you and thanks for your comment. I think all of these technologies carry with them possible costs, like what you mention, but these possibilities are not inevitable. it’s up to us to learn how to use these tools responsibly, wisely, and effectively. They are not going away any time soon :-).

      Reply
  39. I really liked your post. When we have to rely on family and friends is when I BELIEVE WE ARE THE HAPPIEST! We need each other in order to survive this world we live in and sometimes it takes experiences like Sandy to get us to understand that we are never alone!

    Reply
  40. Congrats on Fresh Press and emerging unhurt from the storm. We spent 2 weeks without power after a hurricane and I was a bit sorry when it came back on. Everybody scattered back to their houses and our puppy-pile party was finished. Perhaps being without your phone while your husband still had his suggests a certain amount of your independence and self-reliance being frustrated. Best wishes for you and your area during storm recovery.

    Reply
    • Thank you! It’s an interesting point you make about independence and self-reliance. I hadn’t thought of that but I suspect you’re spot on!

      Reply
      • Dianna Petrella

         /  November 7, 2012

        I burned candles for your family and our dearest E,,,,,,for a mom I’m glad I had a phone to reach my daughter everytime I just wanted to hear her voice.As I asked her what she was doing she replied watching movies, reading magazines, books ect. I call it “back to basics ”
        mode that should always be part of our daily life and the blessings that come with it.

      • Thanks, Dianna! Back to basics are pretty great. Xoxo

  41. Sorry to hear about you iPhone! My parents tenants had a tree fall on their fence. But no real damage done

    Reply
  42. Glad to here that you are safe and sound after the storm, hope the snow is not making your life anymore miserable. I know watching my children play during a rough situation is always a relief and provides light to the situation. I am glad that your children helped releave the stress that you were undergoing. I hope all is well and you get back on track soon.

    Reply
  43. Tech Tard

     /  November 16, 2012

    Reblogged this on tech tard and commented:
    Genuine insights about technology when faced with disaster

    Reply
  44. Tech Tard

     /  November 16, 2012

    Such wonderful insights! I don’t know where to start! Thank YOU for sharing :)

    Reply
  45. Catching up on “Freshly Pressed” emails I missed throughout the year – sorry for showing up late. Bar a couple of storm powercuts each winter, I can happily say I’ve never experienced flooding or any similar disaster, but I think I can relate nonetheless. I notice I never get so much work done around our new flat, or reading/writing done, ever since we got an internet connection put in. Perhaps it’s just an aspect of some kind of mild addiction, but at least reading of feelings like yours assures me that I’m not alone in becoming anxious without certain social media at hand. Thanks for writing this.

    Adam

    Reply
  46. Thanks for the reblog!

    Reply
  1. In the Eye of the Storm: What Hurricane Sandy Taught Me about Social Media and Technology « random metaphor
  2. In the Eye of the Storm: What Hurricane Sandy Taught Me about Social Media and Technology | Dona Matthews
  3. In the Eye of the Storm: What Hurricane Sandy Taught Me about Social Media and Technology | freespiritthroughcreativity
  4. In the Eye of the Storm: What Hurricane Sandy Taught Me about Social Media and Technology « MeltdownTash
  5. In the Eye of the Storm: What Hurricane Sandy Taught Me about Social Media and Technology « The Realm of the Unknown
  6. Freshly Pressed: Editors’ Picks for November, Part II — Blog — WordPress.com
  7. Freshly Pressed: Editors’ Picks for November, Part II | Clube do Facebook
  8. Freshly Pressed: Editors’ Picks for November, Part II | iwebspider design and consulting
  9. Freshly Pressed: Editors’ Picks for November, Part II | Electrician Richardson
  10. Freshly Pressed: Editors’ Picks for November, Part II - Unofficial Network
  11. Freshly Pressed: Editors’ Picks for November, Part II | Solving Problems
  12. Freshly Pressed: Editors’ Picks for November, Part II | Blogging Opportunity
  13. Freshly Pressed: Editors’ Picks for November, Part II | OMG-Gurubootcamp!! Singapore
  14. Freshly Pressed: Editors’ Picks for November, Part II | Camping Catalytic Heaters
  15. Freshly Pressed: Editors’ Picks for November, Part II | GamePunter.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 12,222 other followers

%d bloggers like this: