How do you connect with friends these days? Do you call them up on the phone, text message them on your cell phone, write an old-fashioned snail mail letter or a modern e-mail? Do you go out on the web searching for old friends on Facebook? Maybe you tweet for friends? Ten years ago if you’d said you tweet for friends, people might have thought you were losing it.
The electronic age is certainly changing the way we communicate. And that’s not all it’s changing. We have hundreds of stations on the t.v. to flip through before we decide there’s nothing worth watching instead of the three or four that used to come across the air waves. We have remotes to turn on our ceiling fans and lights. We can start our cars by pushing a button before we get halfway across the parking lot. We download music off the internet on these tiny electronic gizmos and carry hundreds of i-tunes around with us without the bother of CDs. We take pictures with our phones no less and post them on the internet. We even download books onto these electronic book readers. Well, I don’t, but a lot of people do. Personally I want the feel of that book in my hands. I want to turn pages. But even those people who agree with me about that say the Kindles are very travel friendly and easier than carrying around a pile of books.
So there’s is no doubt the way we communicate and share our lives with friends and family is changing. I do a lot of historical research and when I read about the pioneers setting out on the Wilderness Trail to Kentucky I can easily imagine how hard it must have been to leave behind all that was familiar and loved. They couldn’t call back home and check on Mom and Dad. When they left, they knew they probably would never see their family back in the east ever again. There must have been a lot of tears on those trails. And now we can’t even seem to go to the grocery store without calling home on our cell phones.
Another way to connect these days is through Facebook. I’ve been facebooking (is Webster going to decide that’s a word?) for a few weeks now. It’s been fun connecting with family members I don’t see very often and getting a glimpse into their lives. I’ve gotten reacquainted with old friends I’d lost contact with as well as made connections with new friends I only know through electronic means as we share reading and writing interests.
On a whim, my daughter jumped on the Facebook wagon after I did. She’s touched base with a number of old friends from her highschool and college days even though she doesn’t do the status bit. She says she likes the ease of contacting friends without having to remember everybody’s e-mail addresses. And my daughter-in-law is enjoying finding friends and sharing photos of their kids.
One thing sure, we can reach out and touch somebody these days. And it’s great to have so many ways to stay in contact, but I still think it’s extra fun when I open the mailbox and see a letter in there. As long as it’s not a bill and fact is a bunch of those are electronic these days, too. E-mails are good and I’ve been glad enough to get many of them, but a letter, a personal letter, that’s still special.
You might be able to open your mailbox and find a couple of my autographed books in there if you send me an e-mail from my website www.annhgabhart.com or make a comment on my blog. I’m doing the drawing on my birthday in a couple of weeks. Gotta celebrate getting older. Don’t plan to do much counting of the years, but I love celebrating birthdays and the gift of another year to live and learn and write. And make friends in old and new ways.
Hope you had a great Sunday reaching out and connecting with all your friends and loved ones.