E-mail and texting have become an important part of modern life. But Sunday Morning commentator Nancy Giles doesn't think they're anything to write home about:
I'm not a texter.
I'm a fast typist, but my fingers are too big for those little bitty keys, and I don't have the knack for abbreviating words.
"LOL?" "U R 2 FNY?" Whaat?
I mean, it's nice that someone wants to send you a little message, immediately, and texting sure can help in an emergency, but I don't want my telephone writing me notes.
And I can't handle BlackBerrys, either. I have friends who take their BlackBerrys with them to the bathroom.
Can't it wait? (The BlackBerry, not the bathroom.)
Text messages. E-mails. (Neither fish nor fowl.) They're thoughtful, but mindless. Intimate and way distant, both at once.
There's the romance of an e-mail sent at three A.M. - Wow! He was dreaming of me! He couldn't sleep! This means something! - Then you call him, but he doesn't call back, so what's that about?
But I digress. As far as I'm concerned, hearing the "ding" of an in-box will never be the same as getting a letter.
Remember letters, and the excitement of getting an actual letter in the mail, among a sea of bills, catalogues and other junk?
What's inside? The feel of envelope and paper, the style of someone's handwriting, the ink, a child's lettering, or the shaky lines of an older correspondent. My brother Lee dots his "I's" with circles. Handwriting tells you something about a person, yet these days I have friends whose handwriting I've never seen!
A letter, not a downloaded e-mail, is something special.
I've saved just about everything anyone ever wrote me. I have a basic rule for all of them: If I can't remember the person who wrote it, then and only then is it time to get rid of it.
And I'm still grateful for Christmas cards, because even in this instant messaging world, the holidays are the one time of the year when you still get letters and cards. Whether they're hokey, or Greenpeace-y, or populational, a card or a note is a precious gift.
Hey, get a pen and write, even if your fingers feel weird from scrawling something longer than your signature. Because a "Happy Hanukkah!" "Feliz Navidad!" text or a "Joyful Kwanzaa! e-card can be deleted. Just like that.
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