June 1 is National Penpal day. Which means instead of texting, emailing, Facebooking or skyping our friends we take the time out to sit down and write a letter. Yes, write. Yes, with pen and paper. You know, like how we did things back in the 80’s. The 80’s, it seems like a far off time. I’m not going to say how far off that time is for me because then I would be revealing how old I actually am and I’m not ready to do that. Especially since I’m still living in a fantasy that I’m still in my 20’s, 28 to be exact.
So anyway, as a kid when you weren’t running up your phone bill calling The Box or party lines you wrote letters. You wrote your friends and crushes. You wrote in class, at lunch and at home. It was a way of life. And really the only way to communicate on the low-low. It was the original DM. And if your friend lived out of state you owned books of stamps because phone plans weren’t even close to what they are today. Back then, talking to someone long distance every night would guarantee you a three digit phone bill every month.
Which was why writing letters were so important. Especially today because it lets the recipient know, instead of watching the Law & Order SVU marathon on USA or annoyingly poking them on Facebook you took that time to write them. The lack of human connection that exists because of technology is horrifying and needs to be restored, and if that means that writing a penpal a couple times a month gets that back then so be it.
So take some time today off the grid for 30 minutes or so to write a friend. It doesn’t have to be 12 pages, just something to let them know you’re thinking about them. Which is also great because its also national Say Something Nice Day. Make sure it hits the mailbox today. And while it’ll take your penpal an eternity to receive your note their surprise and happiness is something that will make it all worth it.
I’m in a women’s group and some of the ladies participate in the penpal program that the admins set up. It allows the members to send birthday cards, words of wisdom or encouragement to other moms in the group. It’s a total hit, so much so that even the children participate. They feel special when they look in the mailbox and find there’s a note from their penpal waiting for them. You can do this too with your girlfriends and children. Once a month everyone writes a letter to their friend. Imagine 40 years from now you will not have this phone, Instagram and Twitter will be a thing of the past but those letters you received will live forever.