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Disconnected
A dead battery and no phone charger send Amrutha Badrinarayan into digital panic.

By Amrutha Badrinarayan

Last week, I misplaced my cell phone charger. My phone battery was blinking red which meant danger to my connection to the rest of the world. Anxiety filled my heart and was pounding in my ears. With a new-born at home, how will I call for help if and when the most unlikely thing befalls?

I realized in this hyper-connected digital age I can quickly reach out to my neighbor for a phone charger. But I did not have my neighbor's number. I could not find them online, on email, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Pinterest. I did not find them on anything. How will I reach out and borrow that phone charger? My concerned dad asked the reason for my whitewashed face. He laughed and said, "Oh honey, where is your common sense? In my world, to talk to a neighbor, we walk across the street and knock on the door!"

Goodness gracious! He was right! I spend so much time networking, being heard, being active, wishing "happy birthday," but all in the realms of the www. I know I am not alone.

Today, our social interactions are completely digitized. We tweet, text, pin, post, and that hardly sounds like a human. Humans are supposed to smile, talk and socialize in person. We are much more connected than our parents ever were. Yet we are much lonelier as our connections all exist only if there is an Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi or data plan. Connections made in the digital world are so fragile that there is only one click between connecting and disconnecting. Shouldn't relationships be deeper than that?

So folks, look for that opportunity to literally knock on that door. Because laughing together, poking fun, comforting, blowing out birthday candles can't begin without that knock on the door. Because, something as wonderful as making memories of relationships or as inane as borrowing a cell phone charger can never be "dot-comized."

With a Perspective, this is Amrutha Badrinarayan.

Amrutha Badrinarayan is a mother of two, working and living in San Jose.

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