E-mails. Faxes. Phone calls. I understand there are people who even text-message. [A brief pause while some readers scream, "Dinosaur!"]
When was the last time you wrote a letter? I don't mean business correspondence such as cover pages for proposals and the like. I mean a regular letter to a friend or an acquaintance; a missive that goes beyond a note card, covers several pages, and which is hand-written on paper and mailed in a stamped envelope.
It's been a long time since I've done that.
Aside from the special nature of such letters, there is indeed a loss to history, even if it is the scrawl of an obscure management consultant in Phoenix. I treasure some letters that an ancestor of mine, a young farmer, wrote while he was serving in the Union Army during the Civil War. They cause me to wonder who is going to pass along e-mails from generation to generation? Will that sterile format have the same appeal? I can study this ancestor's handwriting and get a sense of his personality. His stationery was patriotic and he had a "fine hand" as they used to say before we hammered everything out by machine. Despite limited education, he was rather eloquent.
I've been neglecting some friends. It's time to get out the paper. I may even use a fountain pen.