In touch or losing touch?

Jonesboro (KAIT)- The great debate today: are we losing the intimacy we once had in communication because of the technological advances?  Are we in essence losing touch by trying to keep in touch?

After Mary Esther Herget's husband passed away, she felt she no longer needed the computer they shared.  She felt as if she would spend too much time on it--time she could be spending with family and friends.

She feels that technology takes away from real conversation. She explains, "If you are calling or if you're on the computer you're talking to a machine."

Since she doesn't have a computer in this tech age, is she somewhat disconnected from all that is going on around her?  Hardly. Mary Esther volunteers at Paragould's Arkansas Methodist Medical Center.  She is involved in theater productions and other community activities.  She keeps herself involved, one-on-one, in people's lives.  During the interview, she showed me a quilt she was beginning to knit for a woman in the community who has just found out she is expecting a baby girl.

Remington Kienbusch is on the other end of the spectrum. While he is equally involved with numerous community activities-- including theater-- facebook and other social networking groups are a must with his busy schedule. He explains,  "It's so quick and it's easy."

To bridge this generational divide, new companies are sprouting that bring new technology to older souls.  Sunnygram will take letters and send them as emails and vice versa for a monthly fee of only $9.95.

Another company, Celery, charges $13.98 a month to send and receive printouts of emails, and social networking updates, via a fax machine.  Of course, if you don't already have a fax machine, you'll be out another $120.

By coughing up $149 along with a $14.95 monthly fee, you can become a Presto user.  This machine dials into a server and fetches emails and prints them out.

When Remington and Mary Esther heard the explanation of each, they weren't too impressed.  Each felt that it was an easy way of getting out of writing letters.  Remington admits that he actaully misses the days when he and his grandmother would communicate this way.  He describes letters as little presents you get to open.  With a grimace he adds that now everyone emails.

For more information about these companies:

Rebecca Lane (KAIT)