Monday, February 16, 2009

Letters and nagmail

Letters.

Who doesn't love getting them; the envelope, admiring the stamp, the crisp paper, the mystery about what they contain. The knowledge that someone actually handled this paper and sent it to you in person.

Who writes them these days?

C'mon how many have you written in the last year.

Then there was e-mail, that was supposed to take up where snail mail left off (what's wrong with snails anyway?) and liked it for a while, but now it has become nag-mail. Am I the only one that feels this way? Yeah, of course I get some notes from friends, but mostly e-mail adds to the to-do list, it doesn't in any way create the same feeling. I do NOT look forward to opening my e-mail.

Then there are social networks. Can I make a confession here? I find facebook boring. If it weren't for some friends that only communicate that way it would be SO GONE!

Then there is the blog. I love the blog * no guff* (800+ posts later) I can reflect on the day, write a little, contact people, and no one feels any obligation to read it. Most of my friends don't, which I still find weird (and secretly, which hurts a tiny little bit way down deep inside). ANY of my friends who posted I would read. Always.

Whatever.

My blog functions as something of a letter, to myself, to whomever reads it...but it is also shaped by the obviously public nature of the medium, and I will confess, also by the norms of blog writing and the desire to have at least a couple of people read this thing...one does want to entertain at some level. I also find I write about different things than I would in a letter.

There is, simply, nothing to replace the letter, that personal newsy letter.

Nothing.

I miss it.

I am guilty of virtually never writing them either.

I should get me some really nice writing paper and get a move on.

As well as book clubs, we should have letter clubs. Include little samples of art, drawings, sketches, flowers, photos....whatever...make sure we use real stamps not those print outs they have now.

hmmm. There's a thought!

So...do you write letters? Is it nag-mail? Do social networks bore you?

Any snail mail lovers out there?

14 comments:

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

I love snail mail! I love getting things in the post that aren't obligations and payments or simply recycling. Send me your address and I'll make you a little 4 x 6 postcard painted/collaged/worked by little ol' me! It just might take me a couple of weeks....

Anonymous said...

ME - I've always loved writing letters and have done so since the age of four. Most of my siblings think everyone finds my garrulousness hard to take.
Some of my friends have occasionally felt overwhelmed so now I've learnt to back off. Snail-mail is still my favourite way of communicating.
Just received a package from a friend who was reducing her private space from a house to an apartment and so I got back all the letters I've written in the past 45 years.
A NEW DIMENSION ON MY PAST PERSONAL HISTORY - weird, even a bit frightening, the difference between what I remember and what I wrote then and now read in the letters! GM

sirdar said...

I haven't written a letter for decades. Didn't do it much back before computers or email. I used that thing called a phone or drove to a friends place.

Facebook? I could leave it but I do connect with people who don't or wont read Dawn or my blog. Yes, if they had a blog I would read it religiously. But, in some ways I know more about what they are up too because of Facebook. So, that keeps me going.

mmichele said...

Oh, letters!

My mother in law was so good at writing letters. I write great ones, but I am bad at getting them in the mail! I don't know why.

I really miss the letters she used to send us.

Boo and Trev said...

I write letters to Peggy! But that's about it. Also I send postcards and birthday cards. A friend and I have a competition every year to see who can find the worst taste or most inexplicable postcard to each other.
I do love emails, they liven up my days.
However, working in a scientific institute there are issues that we are never going to have the Darwin letters of the future because the scientists are not in the habit of saving their emails. And if all communication is electronic between the great minds of the present will it be readable by the technology of the future even if it is preserved?

Beth said...

Until my great-aunt moved to Toronto we had a regular letter correspondence for years. It was such a treat getting a letter in the mail. I miss it. (But I just did a hand-written thank-you note yesterday!)
Interesting about Facebook - I've had so many people urge me to join. Boring, huh?
And I "get it" about wondering why certain people/friends don't read your blog. I'd read a friend's blog - another glimpse into their world.

J.G. said...

Snail mail is great. Even Christmas letters (having some very clever and creative friends helps!). But I am bad about writing letters.

E-mail is kind of a chore, and I never seem to get through my In Box. And I loathe talking on the phone these days (except to C.S.).

I don't get Facebook, etc. Why would you want to put your personal stuff out there for complete strangers and/or that stalker-y guy from high school ???

But I ADORE blogging and my bloggy friends. Can't understand why most of my non-virtual friends show no interest.

Beth said...

I am not much of a letter-writer. I didn't even send out Christmas cards this year.

On the other hand, I DO look forward to opening my e-mail box and seeing what's in there.

As for Facebook...I kind of like it. Really. And your personal info there can be as public or private as you wish. I have mine set so people have to request access and I can let them in or refuse them as I choose. My blog is way more public than my facebook info!

And finally- ITA TOTALLY about the strange lack of interest RL friends seem to have in the blogs of those they know. I, too, would LOVE it if one of my pals had a blog and I would SO have it on my iGoogle page so I wouldn't miss a thing. As it is, RL pals stay in real life and my blog is read mostly by my online pals. Strange.

Helen said...

I love letters but only send the xmas round robin and cards I love email too, because I do chat to people on it and find it invaluable for keeping in touch with a far flung family. I use Facebook because the kids do and they post on their - especially Nicky when overseas, but I log on every day because I have 3 scrabble games ongoing with Boo, Kate and Carl which I love! I also love your blog because I feel in touch with all of you despite seeing you so seldom, and read it always.

keep blogging

oreneta said...

Bhodi, now that is an interesting idea......

GM, you always sent great letters, there is no doubt, and you were married to a fantastic letter writer as well, don't you think? They were works of art. I can't imagine what it would be like reading letters from years ago, it would be so odd...

Sirdar, my mother always used to have to yell at me to get me to write a letter, and then getting it to the post office! OMG....that said, I do still write them sometimes and I should write them more....Facebook...useful, but....

Mmichele...some people are great letter writers, I am not so good...a matter of intention I imagine, though I think I will try and find some paper and see if I can garner some inspiration that way...or not...the shopping approach to letter writing seems somehow wrong.

Boo, I've read some of those letters and you are a great letter writer, they are always newsy and funny and sound like you...and it is true...it is going to be more difficult for future historians as everything disappears with the touch of a button....

Beth, you and I are leading parallel lives right now with the cell phones and the letters.....facebook...unless there are people who really do nothing else...boring. It does seem really odd to me that people don't read. I mean if they don't have a computer or something, but really, who doesn't switch the things on sometimes amongst the people that we are likely to know...really. (Then they send an e-mail asking what I have been up to for the last six months. RTFB!!! Read the F**king Blog! aaarggghhh. I tend to ignore those e-mails, or send my URL)

JG, I have almost no personal info on facebook...and I changed my name a bit so I couldn't be searched...who wants THAT...well lots of people I guess, but not me....blogging rules though. Love it. E-mail...nag mail...blech. With you with you with you.

Beth, yes, I also have facebook locked down tight, especially since they seem unclear about whose property the info is...have you looked at the site lately and the new terms and conditions they came up with and then recinded? Still...I haven't done Xmas cards in years, they aren't really letters in a way....I love getting them, but there is never any real news.....the lack of interest does freak me out a bit....weird weird weird....

Helen....SO glad you read it...it is really up for friends and family, and me, and all the blog buddies I have made is a lovely side-effect that has been a complete bonus. I am going to have to get off my butt and do some real mail....it isn't hard I just have to do it.....maybe I'll buy envelopes tomorrow....I do get mail off to my god-children periodically....

I'll be blogging for a while to go yet.

She said...

I'm a bit over the top, but I've sent 800 cards sent April of 2007 in the mail! I do it all from my computer , though, but the recipient receives the card in the snail mail with a font that I created with my own handwriting and signature.

I love sending cards! I do it through a website called sendoutcards.com : )

oreneta said...

She, that is very cool...I'll have to check it out...right now!

She said...

If you want I can set you up with a gift account and you can send a few cards for free. (I don't ever try to sell the program, but I have the ability to give gift accounts for those who want to check it out.)

Let me know. Or if you give me an address I could send you one so you see what I mean. I could even make a card with that lovely photo of the goats.

Drop me a line if you are interested in exploring it. I enjoy reading about your adventures in Spain!

lala1013@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I read your blog babe - and... in fact kind of depend on it to chill me out when I'm feeling stressed and get me back into what really matters in life - feel bad that you don't know all the stuff that is going on with us!!
BTW - LOVE personal emails, facebook - ok for finding people you lost touch wwith - that's it, Blogs - adore yours!
Snail mail - Peggy - and love it!