In Defence of Letters
We live in a digital world, there is no arguing with that.
We are addicted to our phones, writing emails, sending gifs and snaps, iMessages and Whatsapp texts to whoever, wherever we are. This constant connection is a given and a great benefit of the society we live in. But with this can come a lack of boundaries, of being able to step back, shut off and shut down. Where we used to need to intentionally seek out friends and companionship, we actually suffer from the opposite problem, and have to learn to say no to the constant stream of media and stimulation.
One of the ways that I have learned to practice this is to have a penpal. An actual, put-pen-to-paper writing friend. Completely grade-school I know (anyone remember those school subscription magazines where kids had classifieds in the back to find a penpal? What a different age we live in now!) I have found that not only does this improve my penmanship – a dying art it seems, but it grounds me in the present, and encourages me to contemplate my past weeks and months, to pull out highlights and reflect on struggles. I don’t have the option to just plug in a picture, but I get to create images with my words in sharing a funny story or something that I am looking forward to.
So if you find that you are getting lost in the hustle and hectic pace of 21st century life, why not harken back to “the good old days" and find yourself a penpal? It might surprise you!