I was watching the news last night and there was a story about a woman from Sacramento who dropped a message in a bottle while she was on a cruise a few years ago around Boston. The message ended up in a small village in Nova Scotia and the finder’s wife and this woman have been pen pals ever since. That’s pretty cool!
I got to thinking that through all the emails and the updates and tweets, we have really lost the art of writing. Now, for example in Twitter, we have to find a way to convey our message in a meaninful way in 140 characters or less. I may have touched upon the subject of the whole new language barrier we might end up with a few years down the road where people will be using OMG and LOL in their business letters. People now see walkmans and don’t even remember them. Will this be the fate of the letter?
When you send a letter, you’re not only sending words, you’re sending part of you.. A memory, a smell, (yes, letters smell), your penmanship. It takes time to actually write a letter… and you really have to think about what you want to say because it’s really hard to delete the words in a hand-written letter without the use of white-out.
I used to have a pen pal years ago. (Hi David!) And it was always so exciting to get mail from him. We would send pages and pages of mail each time and it was fun to read what was going on in his life and tell him what was happening in mine (even though it was zero). But just having the mail come through the mail slot was exciting!
Have we become so impatient that we cannot wait for a letter to come in the mail? Has technology taught us that it’s okay to demand instant gratification? We now have e-mail, instant messaging, text messaging, twittering, facebook updates from your cell phone.
An interesting point from Not Supermum: you can’t get the same reminiscent feelings that a love letter can give from a text message or an e-mail. Can you imagine saving an email from your lover/husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfiend on a piece of plain printer paper? What kind of sentimental value would that bring? You can put love letters in a scrapbook or a shoebox to keep and enjoy later… can you do that with a twitter message or a text message?
Years from now, would your text message be found in an attic somewhere by your grandchildren like your old photographs or love letters from an old flame?