Friday, December 17, 2010

A Lost Art Form

The lost art form I'm talking about is letter writing. When was the last time you wrote (pen to paper) to a friend or relative? Not texting. Not calling. Not Blogging. Nor emailing... an actual letter? Wow, even the spellchecker takes exception to the word "texting."

I looked at the difficulty my oldest child in college English and began wondering whether the impact of today's "gotta have it now" society and advanced technology has had on our children. But admittedly, I am guilty of this also because it is so convenient. The cost is less over time than postage stamps.

Unlike my adult children, I grew up in a era where if you wanted news from home you wrote letters and/or sent post cards. I wrote my grandmother, aunts,  uncles, and friends weekly. I kept a diary of events as I grew up.  Long distance phone calls were saved for emergencies. Although when in school you write to learn the rules, in actual practice it is lost in everyday life. With texting it's LOL, BTW, IMHO, and BRB...misspelled words are not a problem. Everyone seems to be able to read elbowla (writing as if you were typing with one's elbows) and thinks nothing about good penmanship or proper grammar.

My children tell me it's easier to text or talk to say what they mean than to write. Who's fault is that and what is in store for the next generation...their children. I'm seeing the signs now with some of my almost teenage grandchildren. They are sending me instant messages and text messages.

I'm trying something new this Christmas. I'm giving each grandchild a journal, at least the ones over eight years old. There are so many fast paced changes in the world today which should be documented for their memories. Although scrap booking holds memories in pictures and little blurbs about events, a journal is something that is added to over time to show a whole picture. I guess I'm just carrying on the tradition because my grandmother gave me my first journal. Occasionally, I will flip through my earlier journals to get ideas for my novels, slang for a time period, and just to reminisce.

Write something today for your tomorrows. My two cents worth.

1 comment:

evbishop said...

I agree that hand written letters have an artfulness and permanence about them that is lost in our electronic age . . . I used to write copious numbers of cards and stuff envelopes with twenty double-sided sheets regularly to friends and relatives . . . Today I only write my grandmas (and not enough!). I still journal in a spiral bound notebook . . .

Nice post!