This is a part of a set of selected, wonderful and insightful, observations about digital living from our NYC pilot interviewees. Read their experiences of a digital diet here, and their visions of a digital future here.

Note that these mini portraits are just initial ‘samples’. There’s so much interesting material to be processed and analysed. Stay tuned!

And thank you so much, DSS!

Diminishing Geographical, Cultural Distances

Political Economy of a Life in Two Countries

“It’s been more than 10 years that I’ve lived in 2 countries that are far apart, India and the US. I came here to do my Masters in International Political Economy so I have a great interest in the world.

When I first came here (to the US) it was so expensive to communicate with my family, to make a phone call. And it was even more expensive for them to call, so we would have to ration calls, and they would call me and then I’d call back… But we would email a lot more.

But now that there are all these call centres in India and all the services that Indians do, so basically what companies did was they put up all these fiber optic cables to help communication. They made them also available to people to make calls. So now my calls to India are, well, it’s practically like making a local call (in the US). And it’s same for my family in India so now we talk all the time!”

Digital, Global, Professional Turning Point

“I don’t know if there was any one point in my life, I’ve taken up digital technology gradually… It (smart phone) gives me a lot of freedom, to run errands, and if something comes up I can respond immediately.

But in a way the turning point is coming right now. In my company, everybody’s paying more attention to what’s happening outside of America, especially in the high-growth countries outside the West. So they are very interested in me being the bridge between that world and this (US) world.I just completed a collection of article on China and am now moving on to researching and writing about Africa.

Because of technology  I can be anywhere and

send information here, or I’m here and in touch with a lot of people elsewhere and it’s all very quick and easy. We do a lot of videoconferencing, but now even that’s a little old, our offices have Skype…

So I’m feeling this digital change more in my career than personally – I still want to see my family. A Facebook interaction with them is not enough. But professionally, it’s great. Probably all this will allow us (DSS and husband) spend a lot of time in India, my husband has had similar conversations at work…”

Appreciation for Multicultural Identity

“I think companies have now great appreciation for people who can function in more than one culture. Because, you know, the previous generation of people who would come from places like India — where there was no economic opportunity there – here people would not understand anything and thing, oh, these people are just desperate immigrants. There was this pressure to assimilate all the time.

Now, there’s not. Now you can be your own person and it’s and advantage because people know more. They are more connected. In that way, I feel helped by technology!”

iPad Afficionado

(On being global, on being mobile …)

“Books and music are always the most heaviest… I’m thinking, when everything is in this (iPad), how easy it is!”