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Hurricane Sandy and Tech as Part of Our Lives

As most of the world is aware, last week was pretty rough for the East Coast of the United States. Hurricane Sandy left a trail of destruction through one of the most populous regions of our country, and even today, people have yet to fully recover from this incredible event.

I have some personal connections to this event, since my boss, and many of my co-workers are stationed in our NYC offices. Over the past week, a lot of meetings have started with questions like, "Are you doing OK? Do you have power yet?" The business of building a software product continued, but at the back of everyone's mind were questions about the safety of those we worked with.

For many of us, technology has become an embedded part of our lives. On any given day, I "chat" with people in two or three different timezones, hundreds of miles apart from me. Both in my personal life, and in my professional work. The internet, and our gadgets and apps, make this a simple proposition. Someone sits down at their computer or smartphone, logs in to an app, and boom, I can chat with them. Suddenly, last week, all that stopped for many people. There was a sense of joy in hearing my bosses voice on a call, despite knowing that I wouldn't see him online in many days. Audio communication suddenly seemed like the height of hubris, as one by one, our co-workers and friends checked in as they could.

As the week went on, things started to return to normal, and people started to get their internet connections back. Things seemed to fall back in to their normal routine. People showed up on my IM clients, more and more emails were sent and received. But I think a lot of us came through this event, with a better understanding of the role that our "always on" tech plays in our lives, and how it would feel if it suddenly all went away...

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