Only connect: strange conversations in the digital ageby Jeff Horwich, Minnesota Public Radio
How do friends and family stay in touch in a modern fast-paced world? Listen to a collection of perspectives.
St. Paul, Minn. — Margaret Langer is a grandmother on the cutting edge. She recently started using a free online video telephone service to connect with her daughter and grandchildren living in The Philippines. "This is very recent, this kind of quality and this kind of ability to view the video," she says. "The best experience we've had was just before Christmas, watching the kids playing on their slide." For Margaret, technology can come close -- but can't replace the real thing.
Andrew and Jim find it hard to imagine their relationship without cell phones. For them, it's more than a convenience; it's a way of being together all the time. "On days when we have a completely opposite schedule, it could be a half dozen to a dozen calls. It's just that it's non-stop," Andrew says. "It's comforting," adds Jim. "I think it just adds to the whole richness of the relationship."
Think all teens are into MySpace and text messaging? These two twins aren't. For Ian, text messaging is "an incredibly time consuming and inefficient way to communicate with someone." Andrew, a confessed "grammar freak" is irritated by the style of English that gets used on text messaging. And the trend of ending relationships with text messaging? "A whole new level of insensitivity," says Andrew.