Do People still Correspond?

I was looking through my phone book today and was amazed at how few mailing addresses I had. It got me thinking. When was the last time I bought stamps, envelopes, and took the time to mail a correspondence to anyone? It has been quite some time. I remember when I was younger having pen pals in Japan, Russia, and other countries. The anticipation for a letter to arrive with those foreign stamps and amazing words on the envelope that would catapult my mind to worldly destinations. I remember the days following my last letter departed. My correspondence had dreams, hopes, inspirations. The future I saw, or the curiosity of knowing what life was like through their eyes. The movie A Chistmas Story flashes my mind as I was the same as that naïve kid waiting by the mailbox for his decoder ring, just to have it tell him to “Buy More Ovalteen?” Did I even spell that right?
Anyhow the point of it is the simple conversation that took weeks developing in the side of my mind as I waited to hear their responses and the anticipation for the future correspondence. I miss that. It is tough these days. Email, social networks, instant messaging, cell phones, text messaging. All free. Stamps and envelopes, not so much. Who feels the desire to hold onto another antique conversational forum? The rates and amounts of interactions have become astronomical, while physical letters of correspondence that are not digital have reduced dramatically per capita. I wonder how much has been gained and how much has been lost in our ability to rapidly communicate. Lol, LMAO, and other shortcuts such as emoticons substitute for the time and sincerity it takes to form the words to describe an emotion or feeling. The way weeks of waiting to write back these emotions built up and formed into words to reciprocate to them. They would receive my next letter and be amazed at my world. Are words written in lettered correspondence more believable? I would say maybe not more believable, but they hold more confidence and stamina for their ability to withstand rejection further than a delete button. Quick responses to the ever increasing mass media machine makes it impossible to offer disinterested responses. Click this, like that, text back, upload this. Our sincerity lies not in the paper, the stamps, the envelopes, or even the inked words of our heart. The sincerity lies merely in our click, clack, walla walla bing bang of social media correspondence.
Some of my favorite books and poems are based on letters written in time of love and war. Letters from our past are mirrors to our own lives. I do not think it is too late for letters. I am hoping they will keep the tradition of thoughtful and anticipated communication and will not, and can not be destroyed by a changing trend in the device of faster communication. I look forward to contributing to my generations correspondence. I look forward to new pen pals. I look forward to foreign words, phrases, and pictures. I look forward to amazing adventures and worldly visions to race in my head. To the happy letters and the sad. To the surreal and sublime in hearing and seeing the world through other eyes. So let me just save and post this online and I will buy some stamps and envelopes later.


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