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The Benefits Of Staying Plugged In: When Emergencies Strike

A broken ankle teaches Lisa Belkin a new appreciation for technology

Last weekend, a lot of us celebrated the National Day of Unplugging, a time-out from technology intended to help us reconnect with the people and passions that really matter in our lives.

Lisa Belkin of Motherlode thought she’d be one of them. Minutes after she posted her intentions on her blog, however, she fell outside her home, breaking both ankles.

Her cell phone didn’t rescue her. Her sons did. She screamed where she fell, and they ran out to help her. It was a cell phone that made the 911 call to get her an ambulance though, and a cell phone that redirected her husband from their planned dinner out to the emergency room she was taken to.

Belkin’s big takeaway from this experience was pretty straighforward:

So what did I learn from my mucked-up version of the “National Day of Unplugging?” What I already knew, I suppose. That I should use my technology less going forward, but also appreciate it more.

In particular, she found that texting helped her feel connected to her family and friends who weren’t at the hospital with her but were thinking of her and supporting her from a distance. That sense of connection is important in a crisis, and technology enables it in a way nothing else can.

Belkin still wants to spend more quality time with her sons and less time plugged in to a screen. But she’s come away with a renewed appreciation for the magic a cell phone can work when you’re in a pinch.

Photo: Dennis

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