… write anymore. At least not the old-fashioned way, with pen put to paper, the paper carefully folded to fit into the envelope that always (always!) was a bit too small, stamps, address on the front, RTS on the back and off it went. These days, the only envelopes I get contain bills – or promotional material disguised as a personalised message.
It’s a bit sad, this demise of the written letter. Imagine the future anthropologist, two centuries down the line, who wants to cast some light on how we lived, how we thought, what we thought.
“Hmm,” she will say, “I sure hope those old hard disks haven’t totally rusted to pieces, because how else am I to gain some insight into how our ancestors REALLY thought.”
And if the hard disk is no more, well … On the other hand, if the hard disk is fully functional, the poor anthropologist will have more material than she will ever be able to sift through – chats, blogs, e-mails – you name it.
At times, I ask my children to write me a shopping list. “You want me to send you a text?” they ask. “No, I want a list,” I say (call me a dinosaur). They groan. They write, and it’s close to illegible and very time consuming. They simply don’t know how to handle a pen properly.
“Duh,” says one of my sons. “Why on earth for? I do all my writing on my computer.”
“But you need a strong handwriting,” I protest.
Hmm. I sort of can’t figure out a reply to that one. To keep a diary? (Can be done on the computer) To write a letter (Oops! Nope, no letters, only texts and e-mails) To send the girlfriend a nice Valentine’s Card? (“I don’t do cards”, the son tells me, “I sent her a link to a song instead.”) To write down your thoughts, save snippets of ideas until you can fully develop them? (I don’t even do that myself – not anymore. I jot them down in Word on either my computer or my tablet – if in an emergency on my phone)
Conclusion: Writing by hand is dying. Is that bad or good? I have no idea …