Please don’t get me wrong; I’m not averse to electronic gadgets. They offer much-needed convenience and productivity solutions, especially in an era where juggling family, work, and everything in between is an art.
As an analog communicator, though, I’ve always considered gadgets as tools for quickly getting messages across. Nothing more. For developing and deepening relationships with family and friends, my ‘weapons of choice’ remain to be stationery, cards, and pens, among others. Here’s why:
• Letters, cards, and handwritten notes don’t break when you drop them. I don’t need to be extra careful, especially when I’m working on several cards at a time.
• They don’t need batteries; poor backlighting is never an issue. When writing or reading messages, all I need to do is sit near a window or a powerful table lamp. The balcony is the best!
• I don’t need to worry about hardware specifications, operating systems, programs, and applications.
• They don’t need an upgrade. Letters, cards, and handwritten notes get better with age. The longer you keep them, the better you appreciate the thoughtfulness of their writers and the messages.
• Using pen and paper to get my message across, I don’t need to worry about “low” or “no” mobile phone signals. They’re stressors I don’t ever want to worry about, if I can help it.
• They don’t take up shelf space and too much space inside cabinets and drawers. Notice that we’re usually “pleasantly surprised” when an old letter or card drops out from a pile during spring cleaning. Can you honestly say the same of an outmoded gadget? A loud “ouch” is more likely, especially if it falls on your foot! This just occurred to me: do people get sentimental over an old phone or, say, tablet, they find in the closet? Will they smell it the way they do old letters?
• Letters, cards, handwritten notes – you can make them as personal and colorful as you want for your intended recipient. It shows effort on your part, and for the recipient that means you think they’re special. Come on, admit it! They are!
• You can’t send packages through gadgets. You still have to go to the post office to do so. Like the previous bullet, nothing is more telling that your receiver is ‘special’ than a well thought-out gift sent just in time for a birthday or sent to commemorate the birth of a new member of the family.