I’m a proper techie. Sure, I couldn’t build a PC from scratch but I know what they are made-up of, what runs on them and I love all of the developments that have come with such advances. However, there is one thing which I really, really miss: sending and receiving hand-written letters to/from friends.
From a young age, I was always writing to people. When I was still at school, I had a pen pal in the former Yugoslavia who I wrote to countless times a year. I also had several friends from my old school ‘down South’ who I kept it touch with. It was always a great distraction to get a letter from one of them and then pen one back.
When I went to Uni, the trend continued with my closest friends from back home and new friends at Durham. We’d keep in touch during term time and holiday time respectively with random tales, musings and sketches. On my year abroad in fact, it was the letters from both home and Uni friends which kept me grounded. They didn’t only cover the here-and-now, but general thoughts and random ‘chit chat’ not unlike if we were talking face-to-face.
When everyone got an email address, personal letters started to die-a-death. Email initially replaced them almost like-for-like (except random sketches of course) but as email became common place, they started to get missed or content shortened. Now with social media, even email is little used for friends to keep in touch. Neither medium has in any way replaced the very personal nature of a hand-written letter. Times change and we can’t go back, but nothing ‘online’ has ever given me that same joy as when a letter from a friend hit my door mat!