In the age of instant connection there is, in myself and my generation at large an overwhelming feeling of disconnect. We can write one another and have the recipient receive our message instantly, but there seems to be something missing in the age of social media: intimacy.
When I was a kid – before the days of the internet, I had a babysitter who would spend her time composing long, hand-written letters to people she had never met in person. She had numerous of these pen pals, the addresses of which she found in the ‘personals’ section of the magazines she enjoyed. She knew a lot about these strangers she was writing to, and they knew a lot about her – despite never meeting, she considered these faceless people ‘close friends’.
There was always excitement when a new letter arrived in the mail from one of the people she wrote. Many of these letters averaged about 10 hand written pages in length – often written in a multitude of ink colors. Some of the pages would have smears, sweat marks, tear stains or appear crumbled – physical signs that the contents on the page were not necessarily easy to put down – but they were. There was an intimacy in these letters that the digital age has a difficulty replicating.
Lately I’ve been desiring this same type of relationship via the written word. I want a pen pal. Incidentally it seems like in the age of the internet, finding a pen pal is tougher than it used to be. The classified sections of newspapers and magazines no longer carry ads of people desiring a pen pal like they once did. Internet websites that are designed for finding pen pals are awkward to navigate.
I am having trouble trying to take part in this endeavor.
I am seeking a pen pal – someone who enjoys receiving letters in their mail box. If this is something that you are interested in, leave a comment on this post and we can perhaps develop a relationship using the written word.