Communicating with friends and family is easier now than it has ever been. With the invention of the Internet and cellphones, there are very few reasons for being out of touch. Cellphones make it possible to simply push a button or speak instructions to send a message or make a phone call. The internet allows instant communication in a number of ways, such as email and instant messaging. Modern technology has made staying in touch easier than ever, but the tradition of personalized contact has gone by the wayside.
Nowadays most people either have or know someone who has a computer and/or cellphone. It was not so many years ago that in order to write to someone, paper, a pen, an envelope and a postage stamp were needed, then it took several days for the recipient to receive the letter; today's communication is instantaneous, but lacks the warmth of an old fashioned hand written note. In "Class Matters," Janny Scott and David Leonhardt say that "Americans of all sorts are awash in luxuries that would have dazzled their grandparents" (246). This is true, but it's also likely that it would have dismayed them as well, since a personal, hand written note or a face-to-face thank you was considered common courtesy back then, but are hardly ever heard of today. In this day and age, although the old lines of communication are still available, such as land line telephones and the United States Postal Service, most people prefer to use the new technology so they can communicate instantly with people across the country or across the world. As Ellen DeGeneres puts it in her essay "This is How We Live," "Phones have gone through such an evolution. Now we have this wireless technology that lets us talk to anybody, anywhere, anytime" (642). This style of communication is fast, but it is very impersonal, especially considering the fact that phones aren't only for talking anymore; many people prefer to send a quick text.