Thursday, September 27, 2007

Stay in touch

I came to the realisation today that with more new technology available out there, the less in touch I am with my friends. This is strange because the 'technology' I'm referring to here are all communication tools - Instant Messaging, Text Messaging, Social Networking, Email from your phone/computer/blackberry. There are numerous ways for people to stay in touch but somehow, it also makes us more out of touch.

When the postman and the phone company were the only two ways to touch base with friends and family, I used them both. All the time. Long letters were mailed on a weekly basis. I was also great at making Telephone Porridge. (There's a Chinese saying about making telephone porridge when you're talking for hours on end) Back then, it didn't matter if the other person lived in the same city or on the other side of the world. I stayed in touch.

These days, I find that one of my excuses for not being in touch with somebody is that I don't know their IM contact name. If I can't chat with them instantly, I forget to touch base with them. Yes, I do have their email addresses, their home addresses and their phone numbers but ... the easiest and most instantly gratifying means of communication is instant messaging. Its INSTANT.

I'm not proud of this at all. In fact, I've started to reform by sending out emails to all my friends and giving some of the local ones a call. I even sent out a real birthday card (the type made from paper) to my friend Mr LB. It felt good going to the post office again but I was so out of practice that I actually got a paper cut from the envelope somehow.


Bilbo said...

I understand what you mean. When I was in college, and for ten or fifteen years after, I was famous among my friends for my letters. I used to write long, chatty letters that everyone loved to, I don't have the time any more to write the sort of letters I like, and most people have to settle for e-mails. I do write long Christmas letters to my closest friends (not a xeroxed, one-size-fits-all letter, either!), but it doesn't seem to make up for the decline in contact through the year. It's sad. By the way, I love the "telephone porridge" expression!

number said...

I did think of emailing to my old friends asking them about their lives etc but they always reply with one liners saying that they are "doing fine"....people are really too caught up with their work!

Evelyn said...

Remember all those letters/aerograms we used to write to each other almost every week when we were kids? I kept them all, and I hope my sister didn't throw them out when she consolidated all my stuff and they are now sitting in her basement. It will be fun to dig them out and read them again. I still remember "Bartholomew"... :-)

IMs are the best way to keep in touch, at least for me that is. And, I look fwd to you IM-ing me again soon! ;-)

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Yes, it gives us less time to do everything.

Elizabeth said...

When I was in college away from my now-husband, we wrote letters to each other almost every day, on actual stationary and everything. I doubt my kids will ever know what that is like.