As part of my freshman English course, I had to write to a pen pal — this is in the early 2000s, so even then letter writing was a slowly dying form. I absolutely love writing, but when you’re twelve and a freshman in high school, writing to a random person is all sorts of awkward.
So in my letter, I explained in great lengths that I had to write to a pen pal as part of a class requirement, and not that I’m a stalker or anything of the sort. The letter was then sent to my mom’s friend’s daughter halfway around the world, who, as it turned out, was only a few months younger than I.
I don’t know how seriously my classmates took that assignment, but I was relieved, nonetheless, when I got a reply (although I suspected that her mother forced her to write back). Leia and I continued writing each other for a year, I think, way past the requirement for class.
But like I mentioned, this was in the early 2000s, which means that the art of letter-writing was already dying, so eventually, we went on to email each other instead of write pen-on-paper — and pretty soon, by the time I got to college, we’ve been communicating through social media, like everyone else on the planet.
However, my friends in college are amazing, and are pretty sold on the handwritten notes and letters front. It’s not unusual for me to receive “Have a good day” notes from my friends, random doodles, and even origami left on my desk.
Nothing beats getting actual mail though. Especially mail in the form of letters — no other material things, just letters about the goings-on in someone’s life, and musings asking how you are, too.
I have been wondering how humans forgot the art of letter writing, but as it turns out, not only is a text or email faster in getting messages across the seas, it’s also economical. Apparently, today, it costs a lot to send a postcard to another country, at least, from here in the Philippines.
Okay, not that expensive, but for 120PhP for a postcard, it’s not actually reasonable, considering you get the length of a tweet on one of those things.
Costs aside, I do want to bring back the art of letter writing. Maybe one postcard a month somewhere around the globe?