Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Information Age

"The stone age was marked by man's clever use of crude tools; the information age, to date, has been marked by man's crude use of clever tools."

As I was reading the memoir If You Find This Letter, I began thinking about my teenagers when I came to the following passage referring to receiving and sending hand written letters in the mail:

"Your generation is never going to have that," the professor said to us, scanning the room.  I remember her saying that more than anything else. 
Her words fell flat into a room full of millennials who were texting their friends beneath their desks. It wasn't a question.  It was a statement.  She was right.  It was nearly impossible to even think of sitting down and writing someone a letter.  It was incredibly intimidating to think of what I would say to someone without the filter of a 140-character limit.  But I never thought it meant we actually would miss something.
If You Find This Letter
page 96

 It made me sad to think that my kids will never experience the romanticism of sitting down and writing a letter, thinking about a person with each swoop of the pen, all the way through from the first well formed letter to the last period.  They will probably never know the satisfaction one feels pouring out your heart, your worries, your fears, your joys onto a piece of paper that you then send to a loved one who will hold that same piece of paper in their hands and hear your voice as they read and reread the letter over again.  

Unless, of course, I teach them that pleasure.  I wonder if it is too late to instill in them the importance of intimate communication instead of the type of communication that only requires 140 forty characters or less and pre-made emoticons?  Truly, think about how limiting that is...that teens now days are communicating with a given set of limited emoticons instead of using their minds to formulate words to convey meaning of an infinite amount of emotions.  Sad, limiting, and worrisome. 

I think I might just start a letter writing campaign myself, but instead of strangers, I will write my thoughts and feelings out on beautiful stationary to my children.  I want to leave a legacy for them, not just texts and emails that can be easily deleted.  I will start by rewriting my letter to my son that I have on the blog, but instead write it in my own handwriting on gorgeous stationary.  I think there is a connection one can feel to another by seeing the intricacies of their handwriting scratched onto a piece of stationary that can not be achieved by the typed word on a screen.

So, there it is.  Love letters to my children...a new tradition I plan on starting immediately.  I want them to feel my love as they hold the letter in their hands the same way I feel connected to my ancestors as I hold and read letters they have written to members of my family in a era long passed. There is so much that is great about the information age, but nothing can replace a handwritten love letter.

Have a wonderful day.

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