social media for the socially awkward
I admit it. I am a pack rat. I have boxes I have moved back and forth from MN to WA and back to MN and from apartment to house to new house without ever even unpacking. Sad, huh? The only thing that gets me to weed things out once in a while is the fear that one day I will be featured on an episode of Hoarders.
Well, as of right now I’m on a mission to eliminate all of these aforementioned boxes from my life. Specifically within the next 31 days.
But what does this have to do with social media you ask?
The box I opened tonight was full of cards and letters going back over 20 years. Ugh. Talk about an emotional roller coaster! Letters from my grandparents (now passed), old boyfriends, besties, and more. Cheerful cards celebrating life events, empathetic letters mourning various losses, and notes with random life updates. There were photos, drawings, confetti, and even a crisp $1 bill in a card from my mom celebrating my 21st birthday. (Don’t worry mom, I won’t spend it all at once).
As I was browsing through all the notes I had discovered, I found myself agonizing over the conflicting urges to burn and/or memorialize various mementos from past friends. I pondered the notion of scanning a few embarrassing nuggets and posting them on Facebook. But then I remembered that payback is a bitch, so opted not to.
At some point I found myself missing the art of the letter. I vowed to start writing more letters to people and thereby supporting the now ailing US postal service. But what would I write about? Everything going on in my life is already all over the Internet!
That’s when it dawned on me. The art of letter writing was a way to communicate that wasn’t lost, just replaced. All the condolences, words of cheer or wisdom, baby pics, and random terms of endearment are now far more immediate thanks to social media. It’s not that no one takes time to share anymore, but that sharing no longer takes time.
I admit it would be nice to get something in the mailbox once in a while that isn’t from a political candidate though. So if anyone feels like sending me mail, I just want you to know that I would be tickled pink to open it and might even reciprocate with a letter of my own. What is postage these days anyway?