Cellphones Become Our Comfort Objects During Disaster

Two days after a 8.8 magnitude earthquake displaced them from their homes and separated them from dear ones, people gathered at a fire-station in Concepcion, Chile to charge their cellphones—their comfort objects during this disaster.

Chile was becoming a trending topic on Twitter before even the fastest newscasters got a chance to talk about Saturday's earthquake, thanks to many hastily posted Tweets—most of which likely came from mobile devices. Tweets, text messages, emails, calls, voicemails—everything flew across the networks, draining phones and granting people some comfort and peace. Just hearing a familiar voice or reading words of assurance—knowing that your mobile device links you to the world, to family, and to much needed aid—makes one heck of a difference.

We need food. We need medication. We need a hand to pull us out of the rubble. But we also need a little gadget that lets us cry out to the world so that everyone else has a chance to tell us that it'll be ok. [Boston]

Picture by EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images