Fountain Pen

You’d think in this day and age that we wouldn’t have problems communicating with one another. Yet between email, telephones, video phones, text messages, blogs, vlogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like, we seem to communicate less and less with each other. Or, if not less, at least less efficiently.

Imagine how many times you emailed or texted someone some information, then ended it with two questions. In reply, you receive an “Okay” as a response?

It seems hard to believe, but when there were less communication tools around, I was able to keep up with the things that were going on in my family. We had hand written letters, cards, or the telephone. Yet, the news would float down the line to me, and without much straining, I was able to know who, what, where, when, how, and why, as well as what they were doing (or not doing). But today, as families move farther and farther away from their home base of birth, instead of better communication, there’s less.

I’m finding that I have to lean more on technology to remind me to follow up with people – whether it be at work, or in my personal life. I have to set reminders to call someone, or text someone, or email someone to ask how things are going. What’s the latest? Where are you? What are you doing?

We get so caught up in our everyday lives that we seem to forget about those who aren’t right under our noses.

The blessing of blogs (like this one), Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and (does anyone really use this?) Google+, is that they “push” what we’re doing or thinking out to our followers or friends, without very much interaction. It’s not as much “communication” as it is “broadcasting.”

A few friends of mine (who shall remain nameless), however, don’t even communicate through the Internet. It’s not because they’re not online anymore (some of them were, at one time), but because they relish the days of the written word – those olde tyme hand-written letters and note cards scrawled in long-hand cursive writing (does anyone even remember what cursive writing is anymore?).

And you know what? Sometimes I miss that as well: that slow, neatly penned letter; the slanted and curved writing on a thank-you card that would make Emily Post jealous!

Perhaps the issue is not technology at all. The problem is that we rely on technology to speed up our ability to communicate, freeing us up to do other things. But instead of using that extra time wisely, we fill up the extra time with doing more things that take us away from communicating with those we know and love. Case in point: my step-son is so technologically savvy that we rarely hear from him on the telephone – it’s usually through texting (not even emails anymore) or by keeping an eye on his Facebook status to see what he’s doing and liking.

So now that nostalgia has taken hold, I think I’m going to break out that old fountain pen of mine and fill it up.Better yet, I’ll get more of those disposable cartridges and jam one in there, then slowly write a letter to …

Awe, crap! Who’s got time for that?