The evolution of written connection

February 13, 2015 at 3:04 pm (Uncategorized)

Once, a long time ago, I was excited to receive mail. Now, of course, 99.9% of our mail is ads and bills. We fetch it from the box only so the mailbox thieves plaguing our neighborhood don’t figure out a way to steal our identifies.

In the late 90s, I got excited when I got emails. They were essentially letters, from my friends, my mom, other relatives. Now 99.9% of my email is ads and bills.

In the late [20]00s, I loved my Facebook feed. People updated their feed with news (and “news”) about themselves. Thoughts, travels, tidbits about motherhood, stuff that made me feel “connected”, though maybe I really wasn’t. Now most of my feed is ads and amusing Youtube videos and links to persuasive articles about what I “should” do/think- I “should” be grateful for every day, vaccinate my kids, or think before I vaccinate my kids, cut out sugar, and teach my kids accurate words for their genitals. We “should” eat local, or “try” to eat local when we can, or “should” not feel guilty that my kids eat chicken nuggets. I still do Facebook, but it doesn’t feel like a viable method to maintain friendships anymore.

Now texting is the primary method I use to communicate with friends and family alike. But I have also signed up for text alerts for various bank account notifications, coupons, shipping alerts. They crept in slowly. Then, recently, I realized- ads and “business” have again taken over a medium that began primarily as a communication mechanism with the people that actually matter to me. The “ding” is just as likely to be a coupon code for Redbox as a human that knows me.

I’m not going to bemoan the advertisers. They do what they gotta do, and I did let them in. And the library has to have *some* way to tell me my books are overdue (again). But I do know I’m longing for another platform for personnel connection.

There are many more online places now. Pinterest, Instagram, tumblr, Twitter obviously. I have accounts on them all. None of them seem likely to facilitate personal interaction though. I guess I may be reduced to actually *talking* to people. This introvert doesn’t really like such crazy talk. Maybe I can still go back to second grade and find a new pen pal from Arkansas.

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