Friday, February 10, 2006
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.