On Being Connected

We originally created Anyvite as a way to easily get your friends together for things like happy hours, barbeques, movies, etc. Our goal was to make it easier to stay connected with the people around you. Fast forward 5 years and connectedness has permeated almost every part of our lives. We’re just a text message, email, IM, status update, etc. from our friends and family, and all of that can be controlled by a single device in the palm of our hand. We take that connectedness for granted, until an incident like Hurricane Sandy shows us just how easy it is to go from “connected to the world” to ” isolated in your apartment”. Even when people lost power and Internet, they were still able to post to Facebook and Instagram the devestation, but when AT&T started losing towers and interrupting service, all bets were off.

One of the main reasons that we became so isolated, was that over the past decade and a half, we’ve seen a mass movement away from landlines and to using our cell phone as our primary means of communication. Without a landline or a cell phone, there is no way to get in touch with a person, short of physically checking in on them, so when you lose reception, you lose your lifeline to the outside world.

Once we had an opportunity to reflect on this, we decided that we needed to take some precautions for the next time a disaster affects New York City. The two main points of failure were losing electricity and losing reception. Electricity can be solved in a few different ways, from large battery backups, to solar powered chargers, to ingenious new devices which actually produce electricity from burning wood. Reception was a bit harder to solve, but after spending some time talking with the folks at UberSignal, we opted for a powerful cell phone repeater system, which can take a very weak signal from a tower far away, and amplify it to be usable. While this doesn’t eliminate the problem of all of the towers going out, it does mitigate it if a portion of cell towers experience problems.

We’ve been so impressed with our experience, that we’ve worked with the UberSignal team to be able to offer a discount to Anyvite users who currently experience cell phone reception problems and would like to solve it once and for all. Simply use the code ANYVITE2012 when checking out at UberSignal.com and you’ll receive 10% off your order. It expires at the end of December, so be sure to use it before then.

As we continue into the future, things will become even more connected and intertwined, and hopefully better safeguards will be put in place to avoid disruptions to our connected states. In the meantime though, take some time to prepare for the worst, because you never know when a freak tropical storm, earthquake, flood or forest fire will rear its ugly head.

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