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Old media vs. new media

photo by a.drian on flickr

photo by a.drian on flickr

I was just thinking how much I enjoy letter writing. I stay in touch with a couple friends from college in this way and it is probably one of my favorite forms of communication.

I hate talking on the phone and don’t often feel comfortable doing it. I need to use my facial expressions when I’m talking. I also despise email, because most of it is so worthless (though I do get a feeling of accomplishment when I send off a really well crafted email). Texting and especially communicating via Facebook or Twitter are much more my style. Perhaps because it feels more genuine.

But letter writing is still my favorite. It takes a lot longer than any other form of communication, but longer can be better. It forces you to think about your life and what has been going on in it. It forces you to think about your friend and their life and how they’ll respond to your letter. It is by far the most contemplative medium of communication, and that, I think, is why I enjoy it so much.

I am constantly sending off emails or tweeting, but when I get the chance to actually sit down and create a story of my life, my thoughts, and my interests in relation to a friend, it’s much more personal than updating my Facebook profile. Receiving a letter in the mail is a joy and much more rewarding than checking someones most recent tweet.

The same can be said of other forms of media, such as books in comparison to blog posts. Books force one to slow down and be more contemplative. I appreciate all this new social media that is now ubiquitous, but I feel at times that something is missing. It’s at these times that I slow down and do something introspective: write a letter, read a book, journal, meditate.

Do other people do this anymore, or is it dying?