Friday, February 10, 2006

To Write or To Type...? That Is the Question

Blogroll Me!

I was writing offline to a fellow blogger and signed off with: "Your Canadian pen-pal, Pearl." I quickly corrected it and said, "I mean, 'Your Canadian computer-pal, Pearl.' "

This is what he responded with: "I guess blogging puts pen-pals mostly out of business."

You know what? He's right!

Yes, blogging doesn't always offer that same formal touch that writing letters does -- in a sense, you're offering everyone in the world to be your pen-pal, to read about what's currently happening in your life. It's no longer just you and your pen-pal; it's become you and this blog pal, and that blog pal, and he told two blog pals and now they're your blog pals, too.

I was always known for my lengthy detailed letters -- I talked about things that were important to me, or at least that I thought were important to me at a particular age. Family and friends enjoyed getting envelopes addressed from me with S.W.A.K. across the back flap; I'd find the nicest stationery boxes and notecards, apply the nicest Canadian stamps I could find, write with the nicest ink pens I had.

I made my letter writing an art of sorts. And many people over the years have collected this "art" of mine. And I collected letters, too, from pen-pals I had here, there and everywhere.

So I still have pals -- here, there and everywhere, thanks to the Internet and the blogging medium. I still write detailed descriptions of things that are important to me, or at least that I think are important to me at my particular age. But I know I'm holding back a lot more than if I were to express myself on a piece of notepaper, fold it up, seal it in an envelope and send it off.

Those envelope walls, that envelope's back flap help to protect my words. The Internet doesn't.

Time is the other factor that makes me a blogger, rather than a letter writer. I can type so much faster than I can write, and if I write quickly, the handwriting is more illegible. I'd often reread my letters, edit them and rewrite them to my liking. With a blog, if I want to do the same, I just hit delete or I highlight a certain passage, delete and re-type.

Simple. Speedy. The touch of a button.

Publish post.


cruisin-mom said...

It's sad in a way...I remember buying all that pretty stationary, and sealing letters, and running to the mail box to receive a letter it's bills, bills, and more bills.
I even just got an email "E-vite" to a birthday party. You can see everyone's response on-line...and if you don't answer, it re-emails you to remind you.
Convenient...but lacks the personal touch. (literallly!)

Neil said...

I don't remember the last time I either sent or received a letter. You defintiely miss holding the same piece of paper that you know the sender did.

Mia said...

I am still writing letters and cards to some friends abroad and I LOVE to receive letters. I just had to think about the first time I wanted to write Daniel a letter. He just left for Hungary (Sep 2004) and I bought a nice card and a nice paper and sat down with a nice pen. But I didn´t know what to write. We speak at least 6 times a day, we send each other emails daily, we sms (text message) and we IM. So he knows everything and every detail of my life. I was very sad and at the end I just wrote how much I love him and miss him on the card. I am glad we have the technology and it makes my life incredibly easier, I can´t imagine how our longdistance relationship could have worked if I would have to wait for letters and only hear every two weeks from him - a horrible thought. But it also made me said that I can´t write letters because there is nothing to tell besides how much I love and miss him.

Needsabetterjob said...

Pearl, I asked Robert to join me on a weekend to Paris. Just one Shabbos. He can be back in his beloved LA Sunday Evening.

Let's see for ourselves, what happens to 2 American Jews who walk around Paris wearing a Kippa, a Yarmulka.

Robert can blog about it, it will gain him a very good audience.
I want nothing in return, I will pay my own way. I want to see the Mona Lisa again if you must know. I am an art lover. I recently saw many Rembrandts.