Thursday 21 February 2008

Art of Letter Writing

Often my thoughts turn to technology and how the rapid rise of computers, internet and mobile phones has changed the world around us in a very short period of time.

I have been thinking about this again a lot recently. Being in bed the only people I see are the rest of my household (my nearly-mother-in-law, Rich and the cat). The rest of my interaction must rely on email and telephones.

This week however it was time to go old fashioned. I know a lot of people with birthdays in February (happy birthday to all those reading!). This is not an exaggeration. In the next five days I know a person whose birthday falls on every single day. So... the old fashioned way; a visit to the card shop (well in advance, back in January) and purchase of stamps. Addressing cards and posting them all in good time. Who needs e-cards?!

At the same time when I was on my birthday card buying spree I had one of those Royal Mail moments. Remember those adverts, when something strange would get sent to just the right person with the tag line "I saw this and though of you". Well, I had one of those moments. On the front was a perplexed looking cartoon of a computer... the caption said "Hello, this is your computer. You have no idea what you are doing, do you?". I decided that I just had to send it to my Mum (whose computer frequently perplexes her).

The point of this is that I haven't really lived with my parents for about a dozen years now (well, not full time anyway). And we often used to communicate by greetings cards. Cute little cards that would catch the eye... sometimes with a little message saying "Smile" or similar... sometimes there were themes (the gorgeous foil fish collection will never be forgotten)... it was something to look forward to in the post, and the the little notes inside were always there to brighten the day.

But now we have email. You can just as quickly type an email as write a card or note. It just isn't the same though. Not so lasting and somehow not so personal either.