Thursday, 26 December 2019
It is that time of year where many of us reach out to old friends and family. Some would have sent just a Christmas card and perhaps with no other words other than the season's greetings, as other words may not be needed. Others would have enclosed a summary of the year with news of exam results, hobbies, and trips undertaken. Then, there are those who prefer the electronic means of communication (it doesn't cost a postage stamp or two). I am not a Luddite but I dislike email. The words might not even by your own as predictive text removes the need to think about what to write. Digital Christmas cards (not made out of paper) filled with emoji and/or animated gifs get easily forgotten. Handwriting shows thought and compassion, feeling and emotion. I know there are times the type-written/word-processed missives are the only way for some to correspond, whether due to writing-hand ill-health or a difficult bit of news to be repeated to many, so I do make exceptions.
Letters and cards are easier to treasure. Do you keep all those silly little email greetings, especially ones with URLs to the electronic greetings cards websites - would the message still be there on the website in 20 years time? Would your great great grandchildren be able to see the thoughtfulness of the message, or be able to open the attachment from the century-old email missive? Handwritten letters might not last forever (flood/fire) but wouldn't it be a shame that only scholars/well-educated people would be the only ones to be able to decipher the handwriting?