Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The personal touch

I was on Facebook the other day and I saw one of those cartoons that always come up on the news feed, from a group that you liked when you just started Facebook.  On the cartoon there was a guy sitting on the computer from the 90s, (the ones which so big you wonder how the hell they got them into the house in the first place) and another guy with a whole load of letters in his hands. The one on the computer was ecstatic to get one e-mail but the one with lots of letters couldn’t give one. Then at the bottom of the cartoon it was the same scene but now set in 2012 and the roles had reversed. The guy on the computer has 1,253 e-mails and he was not bothered at all. However the guy that had previously got loads of mail only had one letter and he was over the moon because of it.
It got me thinking about how we actually talk to one another. We live in a world where you can send a message to the other side of the world in a blink of an eye. But, what happened to the hand written letters that would be waiting on your doorstep when you got home from work and school? It's just a thought, but perhaps they mattered more, and perhaps they still do.
I am not saying that the instant messaging is a bad thing- of course not. I, for one, consider it to be a god send. I can talk to my friends in back in London at night and tell them about my day, whether they want to hear it or not. It is so useful but sometimes those messages just seem pointless. There is so much beating around the bush. Maybe it’s just the detachment from each other, the fact there is a machine delivering the message rather than a person.
I am slightly old fashioned when it comes to the personal touch of things. I love books and I don’t think I could ever buy a kindle. I always try and offer something to a guest when they come over and I could love nothing more than getting hand written letters.  They are something that you can physically keep and go over again and again.  There is something so treasured that comes with getting a letter. It shows that someone is thinking of you. You can easily text someone when you have nothing better to do with your time but a letter has to be written out, sealed up and posted. So much effort is put into it. It may sounds strange but think about it, when you get a letter from a friens or a family member you keep it. I have a letter from my cousin from when I was 6. It’s one of my most treasured things from him. It's not to say that there is no value to messages sent using modern technology, it just seems like a message has been coated in sugar when it's sent via the postman in your friend's own handwriting.
Just slowing down and taking a bit more time to think about something as simple as a letter. It could be the thing that someone treasures forever. All you need is a bit of a personal touch.

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