It's been four weeks since Sandy hit our area, and by now, we've all heard countless Sandy stories. At the time though, some of us found access to information scarce or difficult because of the power outages and intermittent cell phone service. My week without power began with the troubling feeling like something important might be announced—school closings, mass transit updates, power restoration plans—and I might miss it. Whenever I found cell phone service, I turned to twitter (specifically The New York Times Metro Desk) to hear from the outside world.
Once the storm passed and the days without power stretched on, I’ll admit that there was something peaceful about being "off-the-grid," even though being without heat was not as pleasant. My husband and I played board games, we read by candlelight, and went to sleep when the sun went down. Friends with power invited us over for hot meals and showers, and we relied on them for information and news. In hindsight, the experience was a good reminder that access to information is a precious commodity, and it is important to be thoughtful about how and when we need to be plugged in. Turning off our devices every so often, stopping the constant stream of information, can remind us to thoughtfully seek out only the information that is most important to us, of the best quality, and from the most reliable sources.