The 21st century and the technologies available to us is amazing. We can communicate so quickly with one another through so many means - calling, texting, emailing, instant messaging, etc. And just think, we have so many devices that can help us with this quick communication - computers, tablets, Blackberries, iPhones... the list goes on and on.
Mary, one of the characters in the all-star film He's Just Not That Into You, sums up this use of technology. She makes a really good point about how the constant use of technology is something that affects our relationships with all people. She says:
"I had this guy leave me a voicemail at work so I called him at home and then he e-mailed me to my Blackberry and so I texted to his cell and then he e-mailed me to my home account and the whole thing just got out of control. And I miss the days when you had one phone number and one answering machine and that one answering machine has one cassette tape and that one cassette tape either had a message from a guy or it didn't. And now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It's exhausting."
I'm sure we've all been there. Those portals of technology can be so exhausting some days. And in many ways, they seem to be less meaningful, sparked with hidden messages where we find ourselves trying to decipher what the person really means. We spend so much time texting, instant messaging, and emailing that the art of getting a personal, handwritten note from someone is such a foreign concept.
I love handwritten letters and notes. I'm intrigued by the history that they leave behind. When my great-grandmother passed away, we cleaned out her attic and found a full box of yellowed letters. Her daughter had written these letters to her mother while she was away at college. I never met my great-grandma's daughter because she died during her college years, leaving her mother (my great-grandmother) at a loss. Finding those letters after my great-grandma died was like stepping back into the past. Her daughter wrote of how school was going, her relationships with people, her frustration with some of her coursework, and things happening in the news. I imagine that my great-grandmother kept them for the sole purpose of having something that her daughter had written for her. She kept them safe until her own death at the age of 97.
Letters and handwritten notes are history. They often illustrate a time that was far different from ours today. Language is, in many ways, immortal.
I still write letters and send them in the mail - even to friends and family that I can keep in touch with by simply dialing a few numbers on my cell phone. As a result, I love stationary and ultimately what it stands for. I wander aisles upon aisles of stationary at bookstores, shops, and places like Walmart and Target. I hope that people still write snail mail, sending it to those they love. I think about how those letters and notes will be received, with the possibilities being limitless. Your handwriting is unique and conveys a message that a text or an email can't.
I hope that you write your own snail mail. Create some history.
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