While enjoying a morning cup of tea, I flipped through T.V. channels and stumbled upon an interview with a couple of biographers. These authors spoke at length about the wealth of knowledge they gained from letters. They said you really got a feel for the personality of the people they wrote books about from their correspondence. You were able to see the many facets of their personality from the way the wrote to their wives verses the way they wrote to their friends.
Then these authors lamented the fact that writing handwritten letters has become a lost art. They mentioned that they were uncertain how biographers would gather their information in the future. We currently communicate through email, texts, tweets, and facebook posts. It is a rare thing that we even pick up a phone and actually talk to someone rather than just send a short message.
I have a cousin who graduated high school with honors, yet cannot read cursive handwriting because the schools he went to decided it was obsolete and therefore did not teach it to their students. His father would send him letters but had to write them all in print so he could read them without assistance.
This year I received many holiday wishes and greetings through electronic media. But I received only three actual Christmas cards. One was from my mother. One was from the agent who sold me my house a couple of years ago. The last was hand delivered by my son, who drew it on notebook paper with colored pencils. The two mailed cards hang on my wall near the Christmas tree. My son’s card sits next to my alarm clock so it is one of the first things I see in the morning.
The two biographers mentioned that future generations would probably sort through emails to gather the information for their books. I think that blogs would also be a decent source, depending on the blog. My intent with this post is not to put down the many ways we have to communicate. I have friends all over the country. Some I would never get to speak with if it were not for text messages and facebook.