It’s a whole new world

Randy Butler Contributing columnist

Randy Butler Contributing columnist

Since I started selling real estate 16 years ago, the amount of paperwork needed has at least tripled. I am sure like many other things in life, each new paper now needed was brought on by a lawsuit. The agent’s responsibility has always been to provide the needed paperwork for the transaction. This could be done in the office, or the home of one of the parties, or maybe on the tailgate of a truck. Each time we needed an initial or a signature we had to have a face-to-face. It was a chore at times, but we made it work, mostly because we didn’t know there would ever be another way.

Today, the internet has made things so different. Realtors rarely meet face-to-face for the required signatures. We email the documents to be signed electronically. This can be done with a computer or even a phone. It has made our lives as realtors much easier. But, is it worth taking the personal touch out of the equation?

I am not sure if the reward is enough for what has been lost.

As a kid, getting a new pair of shoes was such a big deal. At Holiday Shoes you would sit down and the guy had one of those slanted chairs that you put your foot on. He would measure your shoe size with one of those silver things (maybe it has a name), but I am clueless as to what those are called. He then went to the back of the store and brought out your brand new shoes. He even complimented how good they looked on you.

Now, it is good to place your order online and have shoes or anything else delivered to your house. But I kind of miss that personal treatment — where you felt like it mattered that you went inside the store to buy a pair of shoes. You always felt you were appreciated for stopping by.

Remember that guy that used to pump your gas? You would pull up to the pump and as you drove over a black cord the bell would ding. The guy would most likely have another vehicle up on the rack changing the oil. I can see him taking the rag and wiping his hands as he was walking toward your car to pump the gas, check the oil, and have a look at the low tire while the gas was pumping. Don’t we all kind of miss that kind of service? Now, no one ever comes out. Very few stations will even trust us enough to pump our gas before we pay.

So many businesses have added drive-thru as an option while some have done away with coming inside at all. We tell ourselves this is due to convenience and fear of COVID-19. Isn’t it just another way that we have taken personal contact out of all we do?

Most churches offer services online. My grandmother would love this one. She always said she never went to church, but always watched it on TV. Has this worked well? From what I can see church attendance has plummeted since this new phase started. It just seems easier to stay at home.

Is all this just since Covid or were we already headed that way? Does it appear to you the more we advance as a society the more we exclude ourselves from physical contact? We all know its 100 percent COVID-19, but isn’t it sad to watch a ball game on TV and see the cardboard fans in the seats?

My question to all of you reading this is: Have we not secluded ourselves with little or no human interaction to sustain our new way of life? Will this make future generations not have any idea or the will to directly communicate with others?

There was an animated movie on a few years ago and one of the main songs was “It’s A Whole New World.” We have seen more world changes in the last year or so than has happened in the last century.

Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.

Randy Butler Contributing columnist Butler Contributing columnist