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Wanted: Friends Who Write

Out Of Date Warning

Languages change. Perspectives are different. Ideas move on. This article was published on July 10, 2009 which is more than two years ago. It may be out of date. You should verify that technical information in this article is still current before relying upon it for your own purposes.

We live in a technological world, one that allows us to communicate instantly. Through email, instant message, IRC, Twitter, Facebook, and tons of other platforms, a message we have to share can be spread to anyone in the world almost instantly. So it would seem odd, then – in fact, almost paradoxical – that as a world we’re less interconnected than ever. But we are.

How is this even possible?

As the world has become faster, the number of communiques we receive each day has increased. And yet the value perceived from those communiques has declined. In addition, the methods we used to use (sending notes, cards, thank yous, and wedding invitations) have become less common, as we’ve tried to replace them with electronic means, without realizing that the value of these things is in their personality.

No electronic note can replace the feeling of good paper and a hand-written message. And yet we’ve tried, desperately, to reduce the burdens of buying paper, stamps and ink. When a true note is exchanged between friends or lovers, there’s a magic to it that is lost in the electronic form. A card from a long absent friend, or a letter from a parent, all these things have an electronic counterpart, but no electronic equivalent.

My girlfriend and I regularly exchange love notes. She gave me stationary as a gift, a long-standing holdover of another generation but relevant for this one, too. I’m certain the postman has back problems, for all the mail she receives, of personalized cards, postcards, and letters. But she’s actually taken the time to cultivate relationships with friends, and she’s joyful every time she gets a letter. A technophobe she is not; she even has a Twitter account. She just knows the value of getting something in the mail.

This long-lost art doesn’t have to be either. Instead, we can all do better. A hand-written thank you note or a postcard from a trip is all it takes. The truth is that once you take the time to write, others will reciprocate. And they will appreciate you, too.

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chris (@enygma) wrote at 7/10/2009 11:35 am:

You forgot “and the post office will appreciate it too” ;)

Cathy Colbert (@cathycolbert) wrote at 7/10/2009 12:38 pm:

I completely agree! When I receive a note in the mail, it brightens my day and always brings a smile to my face. While Social Networking is fun, I hope we don’t forget about the joy of using physical mail.
I believe the same is true of invitations. As we become technically more savvy, less and less individuals are sending physical invitations for events, but that is a tradition that would be sorely missed. For any event, wedding, reunion, dinner, the only keepsake one has afterwards is the invitation and pictures. Sending a physical invitation lets your guests know that you care about them, sets the tone for the entire event and gives them a tangible item to remember it by.
In addition, guests are much more likely to remember the event’s date and time when it is on their refrigerator, as opposed to in an email on their computer.
There is something about receiving a pretty invitation in the mail that makes you feel special and delighted.

Bill Hernandez wrote at 7/27/2009 11:19 am:

I really enjoyed your article.

You write very well, most of us don’t…

Thank You…

Bill Hernandez
Plano, Texas