Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Back to Pen and Paper

Don’t you just love it when someone sends you a handwritten letter, card, or postcard in the mail? When I see it stacked with the usual bills and junk mail, it is like shining beacon from the past. At the very least, it reminds me of a time when the Internet was not the “end all or be all” when it came to communication. Now, I mostly get emails, instant messages, tweets (on Twitter), and wall posts on Facebook, which helps me stay connected to people.

Don’t get me wrong; I couldn’t operate without the Internet. It is essential in my work and research, and it makes life so much easier. I’m sure most of you would agree that the World Wide Web is here to stay, but when I receive something handwritten from friends or family members, I am especially touched. Admiring or bemoaning the sender’s penmanship and feeling privileged that someone made the effort to create their words with pen (sometimes pencil) and paper are two reasons why I hope we go back to it every once in a while.

I plan to take my own advice and send a letter or postcard to someone I care about. If it is a letter, I will explain what I’ve been doing to someone who has not seen me in a while. I would make the correspondence interesting of course, without embellishing the truth. A postcard would require a shorter and more concise message, with the front of the card being as eye-catching as the writing itself. I tend to over-think little things like which stationary to choose, but sometimes it is worth it.

I know that going back to pen and paper can feel like a step backwards to some, but I think that being nostalgic for the past is not a bad thing. I hope that wherever she is, Jane Austen agrees with me.

Do you think we are too reliant on our computers and the Internet for everything? What are your thoughts on sending and receiving handwritten correspondence?


Kekla Magoon said...

For the last couple of years, I've sent out Valentine's cards to various friends. This year, I didn't get them done in time, but hopefully I will do them in the next week or so. I guess they will be wishing people a happy spring, since V-Day was way too long ago, at this point!

I make sure to hand-write a note in each card, in addition to the pre-typed message that goes in each one. But I finally caved last year and printed the address labels from my computer. Time is money. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I do agree with you . What I feel that is lacking more this day and age is human contact. All of this technology encourages lack of human interaction face to face.

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