By in Writing

From Penpal Letter Writing to Social Media Interactions

Back in the 1960s I was a prolific letter writer, having penpals or penfriends in many countries all around the world. Much of my spare time was spent in seeking out penfriends in different countries and then developing a correspondence friendship with them. That was quite a popular thing to do in those times. My letters were never short ones, but pages and pages. I wrote about my daily life, news about school and information about my country, New Zealand. Just like I do on here, really. All my pocket money was spent on postage stamps and thin writing paper, thin so I could fit more pages into an airmail envelope without having the envelope become too heavy to fit within postal regulations.

Today I read something that made me think, little has really changed, other than the way the communication is delivered. Here I sit, at the computer, churning out word after word as I share my thoughts with people all over the world. Social media sites such as this one make it easy to interact with others and develop online relationships. You can really get to know people here, just as I could when I wrote snail mail letters as a teenager. You choose who to spend time interacting with and you learn about their daily lives and their country.

The way we communicate with others world wide may have changed, but the general motivation to do so is still the same.

Did you ever write to penpals or penfriends when you were younger? Maybe you still do?

Image Credit » by jarmoluk

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GoodSamaritin wrote on February 23, 2015, 10:36 PM

I think there is something to be said about the dedication it takes to keep in touch with people across the world, now it has become so easy it's no wonder why we don't keep in touch more. But it seems that even with all of these advancements we have become more isolated and the media has largely been used to promote fear and evil. I can imagine society doing a full regress though if we keep this way of life up, its really crazy how we made it this far isn't it? Someone must be watching over us! Well I hope my comment has got you guy's thinking and good comment I enjoyed reading it and stepping back in time.

bestwriter wrote on February 23, 2015, 10:44 PM

Nice post. I was not fortunate as you. I tried so hard but could not get any. One of my classmates had many and she would pass on those stamps to me as I was collecting stamps then. And today my craving for having penfriends is more than satiated as writing here is no different from writing through physical mail.

valmnz wrote on February 23, 2015, 10:49 PM

I agree with you, and we don't have to wait so long for the mail to arrive emoticon :smile:

valmnz wrote on February 23, 2015, 10:50 PM

I'm glad you felt as if you'd stepped back in time GoodSamaritin

cheri wrote on February 23, 2015, 11:27 PM

I did. THis is some kind of throwback for me. I am missing those kinds of writing before.

allen0187 wrote on February 24, 2015, 12:53 AM

I was never into writing letters and having a penpal back in the day. Although, nowadays, I'm going to start correspondence with another member here in PP. She has been an online friend for a couple of years already and I saw in one of her posts that she is into having penpals and writing letters. SO, i'll try it out one of these days and see how it goes.

crowntower wrote on February 24, 2015, 1:27 AM

No. because I was so young at that time before. And there are so many negative effects like crimes etc. in that penpals too. Hehehehe... but my classmate had one when we were in grade 6, and the guy is too handsome and rich and its about our age. Some of my classmate teased her that it might not the real face of her penpal.. Lol, but others like me will say how fortunate she is for having a penpal like that. God bless.

Coffee wrote on February 24, 2015, 4:21 AM

I remember I used to have penfriends too when I was younger. Usually people I met on holidays.

LadyDuck wrote on February 24, 2015, 6:06 AM

Now is so easy to get in touch with people living in every country of the world. I remember when I sent letters to my cousins and to my (ex) boyfriend who was in the navy. It is strange, now the world is closer, but I feel more "alone" than I was in the past.

Dawnwriter wrote on February 24, 2015, 6:09 AM

You are very right. Social media has made things very easy for those who wish to connect and make friends from world over. But there was something special about letter writing, which is now a lost art.

Shellyann36 wrote on February 24, 2015, 9:32 AM

I am afraid I never had any penpals when I was younger. The two people that I communicate with these days by paper and pen are my Aunt Becky and my cousin Faye. It is good to open the mailbox and see a nice hand written letter or a card just waiting to be opened!

valmnz wrote on February 24, 2015, 5:15 PM

I enjoy the way we can still make worldwide friends without leaving our home.

valmnz wrote on February 24, 2015, 5:16 PM

If you have the opportunity to write real letters, sending and receiving by snail mail, you should make the most of it.

valmnz wrote on February 24, 2015, 5:17 PM

The negative things you mention just weren't there in those days. I think the internet has had that sad effect.

valmnz wrote on February 24, 2015, 5:18 PM

I loved receiving letters from people I'd never met, all around the world.

valmnz wrote on February 24, 2015, 5:19 PM

That is sad that you feel more alone now LadyDuck . I know in the last few years I've made a real effort to spend face to face time with the people important to me.

valmnz wrote on February 24, 2015, 5:20 PM

Maybe we should start a penpal club, just as in those earlier times emoticon :smile:

valmnz wrote on February 24, 2015, 5:20 PM

I haven't written a letter by hand, or received one for that matter, for many many years. It would be fun to do so again.

allen0187 wrote on February 24, 2015, 10:02 PM

I will. This goes well with my plan on starting a stamp collection.

Shellyann36 wrote on February 25, 2015, 8:16 AM

It is very fun. I mostly send cards and write something nice in them. I enjoy sending and receiving them. :) My aunt is a stickler for cards. She sends me at least one every month. We also correspond by email as well so the added touch of the card is so nice.