Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Pen Pal Project (Post #1)

pen pal

1. a person with whom one keeps up an exchange of letters, usually someone so far away that a personal meeting is unlikely
2. Also called: pen friend  a person with whom one regularly exchanges letters, often a person in another country whom one has not met
1935–40, Americanism

A few weeks back, while hanging out around the apartment, my mind started to wander and I began to think about communication outside the realm of the web. How did we get by without it? How did our lives function from day to day...there was no email, no social networks and definitely no websites. How did we send information, give information, look-up information?!? Dare I even utter the words; fax machine, phone book and yellow pages! These once daily necessities, seem so foreign now in a world where we don't even have to memorize important phone numbers because our cell phones do it for us, almost instantly. What happen to the simple days, when you had to stop at a pay phone to make a call, or reach out to a close friend via written letters. It's called personal communication, the type of interaction we once had, but seem to have lost, almost completely. The saddest part of it all, is that we are also losing the last generation that still holds onto most of the simple ideas...our grandparents.

This is when I got the idea of having a pen pal. I always wanted one when I was younger, but never had the chance. As fate would have it, I was visiting my favorite blog one day and the post was about her pen pal and being paired up with one if interested. I was delighted, it was like a dream come true-someone heard my thoughts, AMAZING! So naturally I jumped at the chance and now I'm officially a pen pal! I just received my "welcome" note from the creator, with an envelope and my pen friend's address. Its so exciting to get personal mail, other than bills or advertisements. It's refreshing, a personal note that's tangible, with their handwriting (which can tell you so much about a person). There's something about the "real thing" that all the advanced technology in the world can't replace! I'd rather sit with a friend in a cafe catching up over a cup of hot tea (since I don't drink coffee), than meet them on the web for a video chat, its impersonal and still makes you feel far away from each other.

So I'm very excited to send the first introduction letter to my pen pal, soon. I hope that we can become great friends, learn about each other's lives, share in wonderful experiences and keep a tiny part of those simpler days with us...for a long, long time.

Do any of you have or have had a pen pal? If so, I would love to hear about your experience! Don't be shy...introduce yourself!

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