Just thoughts

Of letters, popularity contests and asking for favours via text- the ritual that got away



Is it just me or do people (read friends) only call when they have something to ask. And when I say this, I say it knowing that I am as guilty as the next person (read you).

Back in the day, before all this mobile phone and social media crap that is, people used to communicate. Write letters, just to give news…and wait for letters, just to receive news. Nowadays, people no longer write letters. They call. Or worse, text. Someone will text you to ask for a favour, seriously?! That means you expect me to use up my airtime texting you back for a favour that YOU want?! Better a call, right? That way at least you went out of your way (to use your airtime from start to finish). But back to my argument, does anyone ever call to just give or get news anymore? I hate the world we live in. Not everything about it, but this aspect of it. The other day I called a friend, not to complain or ask her to do something for or with me but just to say hi. She was so surprised; kept asking me if everything is ok. I had to dig deep into the reserves that make up the sum total of my problems and feed her with one just so she could get off my case. Then, we got into this conversation: No one ever calls just to say hi anymore. Have we lost or are we very quickly losing our sense of humanity? And forums like facebook and twitter, are they really helping matters? How many ‘friends’ on face book have you directly communicated with by way of saaaay…a phone call? Not a phone call asking for a job hookup but a phone call asking them how they are doing, just saying hi, updating them on the real ‘status’ of your life? How many of those 300+ people who follow you on twitter could you possibly have a personal relationship with? How many can you sit down and have a coffee with? How many would you tell about your demotion at work? Social media has little to do with friendships and a lot to do with popularity contests. As long as we accept this, we are alright. Me, I check social media for breaking news: so and so had a baby and a shotgun wedding; a Malaysian plane disappeared off the face of the earth; season 3 of homeland is out and it’s a flop; gangnam style went viral and its Korean… you don’t get that kind of information as quickly or as succinctly anywhere else. And that’s alright.

But I miss the days I took the time to buy fancy writing paper, sit down in silence, pour out my thoughts, feelings and current goin- ons, go to the post office, buy stamps and mail my letter to someone; then…eagerly await to hear about their thought, feelings and current going- ons via the same ritual. You see, with letters, unlike mobile phones and social media, we were neither motivated by favours nor popularity contests because the truth is, you could very easily get a response a year later. And that was alright. Those days we reached out because we wanted to connect.

I feel sorry for the social media generation that never got to experience this beautiful ritual that I believe made us more human. But I feel sorrier for myself- the generation that had it, and let it get away.


One thought on “Of letters, popularity contests and asking for favours via text- the ritual that got away

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s