Monday, February 7, 2011

Snail Mail: It Brings a Smile to Your Face

I used to watch I Love Lucy episodes on my pop's 8x8 black and white TV. It felt cool to just lounge and use the small old TV for the one thing on TV that was actually black and white. I never thought there'd be a day when color TVs seem old school...until last night. We left my cousin's 50 inch HD flat screen television in the last 10 minutes of the Superbowl game to join my parents at my aunt and uncle's for a belated Chinese New Year dinner and saw the last 3 minutes on a non-HD old school box. We leaned forward, focusing our eyes, trying to figure out where the ball was landing. How did anyone used to watch games on non-HD televisions smaller than 30 inches? Yet it wasn't that long ago when even the normal premium channels lacked HD and the only thing old school was my pop's 8x8 black and white box!

Communication these days is eerily similar. I'm one of the few left in a population spanning over 2-3 years who knew and used pager code. This was pre-cell phones and pre-texting and of course, I was lucky (spoiled) enough to get a teal pager from my parents! My parents would page me when they wanted to know where I was, but that still meant finding a phone to call them back on. More importantly, our friends could page one another with messages deciphered only by those who could read the code (numbers were letters). These days, everyone has a cell phone - not just for safety purposes of having a form of communication when driving if an accident occurs or to call you parents for a ride... but just for fun. It seems to me that 12 year olds have cell phones though I guess I had a pager when I was 13. To add to the mess of technology communication, everyone has internet - if not on their phone, then definitely at home - facebook updates, gchat status messages, twitter, e-mail, text messages, phone calls... eek! I get scared just thinking of all the things I'll have to do to keep my kids from being overexposed to the technology and abusing it! We'll have to have our computer in the living room and if they get cell phones, it'll be the ones with 4 options (call mom, dad, 911, or home), and so on and so forth.

But my point wasn't how bad technology can be today.. it was actually pondering whatever happened to snail mail? Since I didn't become a member of the Church until I was 27, I haven't exactly had the most experience with missionary snail mail, which is also coincidentally now available via e-mail. So besides the letters Grace and I would send each other from Berkeley to Claremont throughout college, which were usually accompanied by a study survival kit or Valentine's Day wishes, snail mail is quite foreign to me.

So it's interesting that I've picked up snail mail as a thing of my present these days. I've been using snail mail more often, though it takes longer to prepare (I actually type around 110 WPM), I think it brings a bigger smile to one's face upon receiving it. There's something old school about getting snail mail in your mailbox, but something exciting about it too. I encourage everyone to write a snail mail today - just for fun... to anyone you want! I guarantee it will bring a smile to one face - yours... or maybe two.. and mine!


frugalmom said...

I love, love, love getting snail mail. I love sending it, I think maybe even more. Its just so heartwarming to send and/or receive something in the mail. I think with all the instant communication these days, snail mail is even more special. Someone taking a moment out of their day to put something to just makes the heart feel happy. :-)

Kimberly Bluestocking said...

I usually prefer email because it's instant and free, but you're right--there is something really special about receiving a physical message you can hold in your hand. Sometimes that's the only thing that will do.

Sijbrich said...

And with Valentines Day coming up, it's a perfect time to send snail mail.

I also saw your "I'm a Mormon" video and tracked down your blog, and I've really enjoyed it. You're a great (and thoughtful) writer.

SupaFlowaPowa said...

The only downside is it does cost a bit more than the internet connection I could be getting for free from a library.. hehehe - it is perfect for V-Day! That's why we get the infinity stamps from Costco. Hehehe. We should all write letters to someone for V-day and maybe even kiss it with a lipstick blotch.... that could also be creepy...hehe

frugalmom said...

What are infinity stamps?

SupaFlowaPowa said...

I meant forever stamps... it's the bell ones that don't ever change in value even as the post office continues to up postage prices! just buy a whole bunch and save pennies when the price increases again!