Technology Be Damned!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011
I’m an old fashioned kinda gal … or perhaps I’m just old.

I miss the days of mail instead of e-mail; phone calls instead of instant messages; face-to-face conversations instead of video chats; photographs you can hold in your hand and which you were never sure if they turned out until you had them developed. Don’t get me wrong; I see the benefit and, in some cases, the need for some of these new fangled gizmos but I think we’re far too reliant on them and take them for granted.

Seeing an e-mail notification pop up will never have the same effect on my mood as opening my mailbox and pulling out a handwritten letter from an old friend, an overdue birthday card from an absent-minded parent (*ahem* Dad … ), or an unexpected postcard from someone travelling half way around the world. The ease and accessibility of e-mail has become so commonplace we’ve given up on actually writing the words we want to share with friends and loved ones. I’m sure friends and coworkers are sick of me asking them to send me a postcard whenever they head off for an exotic vacation but I still ask nonetheless. I don’t care if you just write “Hi”, I tell them; I’m just happy to get one. And it helps that I supply them with a pre-addressed label.
Writing by J. Paxon Reyes courtesy of Flickr
My mother still sends out birthday, anniversary, Christmas, and other holiday cards to loved ones. Including me, and we live together – she knows the value of getting that small piece of mail. Its not often that it happens but her adherence to this seemingly outdated form of communication has inspired me to start writing more of my own handwritten correspondence rather than sending out an e-mail that might take me a mere five minutes to compose. There’s something indescribable about receiving a handwritten missive and knowing that the writer took the time and effort to put pen to paper. It means you matter.

Growing up, I used to practically squeal with delight when I would receive writing sets as gifts. I loved the beautiful matching paper and envelopes. When I first moved to the city for university, Jody the Non-Blogger worked at Wilson’s Stationers (long out of business sadly). Along with all the pens, highlighters, notebooks, pads of paper, clips, etc, they had a small display with single sheets of playful, poetic, pretty paper and matching envelopes. Whenever I had to write a letter, I’d pop in to visit her and pick up a couple of sheets and an envelope. Its been years since I’ve seen anywhere that does that anymore and rare to see writing sets that aren’t covered in Spiderman or Hello Kitty (sorry Kasia!). Perhaps I will just have to design my own paper...

Photographs? Its been at least 5 years since I’ve had photos developed with the one exception being my trip to England, and even then I was very selective about the ones I sent to be printed. Perhaps 20 out of the over 200 pictures I shot while I was there. I’m not as nostalgic about these as I am about handwritten notes although there are a few of my photographs I would like to have blown up and printed in order to hang on my wall. Or to give as presents. I’ve been saving some over the past few months to include in calendars which will be given to family and friends this winter holiday season.

One thing I miss is flipping through our old photo albums and looking at old photos, remembering when they were taken and what happened on those days. It makes me wonder if the next generation will get the same feeling while scrolling through Flickr albums?

What new techonology/gadget makes you nostalgic for “the good old days”?


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I still send out Christmas cards, along with the annoying big braggy letter every year, but I do see the number of cards I receive declining each year, sadly.

The electronic readers make me want to hug a book.

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