Pen Pals.

pen_pal_clubPerhaps that should read as “Because two computers are better than one.”
The internet has made it possible for us to have more pen pals than one would have thought possible when pen pals were all the rage. I had one brush with that phenomenon.

I was all of 13 years old when my cousin Mangala who was the librarian at the United States Information Service Library in Madras put me in touch with a young lad of the same age from the USA named Johny Horrigan Jr.  The USIS had a program to encourage such exchanges and Johny and I exchanged a few letters and photographs taken with our box cameras, during the next two years and both simply tapered off due to other preoccupations.  We had Boy Scouts as the only common interest and there was the  dampener that I did not have a clue about base ball and he about cricket!

After that great experience, all my penning was to people I knew and I was an inveterate writer of letters.  I wrote to my friends, cousins, mother and a few times to the editor of the local news papers too.  But I never got back to making pen pals till the advent of the internet.

I don’t know if I can call my internet friends who I have not met face to face as pen pals but it makes sense to me to.  I don’t put a pen to paper to write to them, but type on a key board I do to correspond with them through emails, facebook, blog posts and comments; and now with the world becoming smaller on skype, whatsap, sms and so on too.

If I am allowed to include my internet friends, then my list of pen pals would run into a very large number and one of these days, I shall sit down and count and give this post an update.  In the meanwhile, I am glad that I have them in my life and I hope that they are happy that I am in their life too.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where six of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic was chosen by yours truly. The five other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, gaelikaa, Maxi, Paul, Shackman, and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

27 thoughts on “Pen Pals.”

  1. In my book, clicking ”like’ on blogs or facebook and leaving a comment on the topic, does not make one a friend, more an acquaintance. For friendship you need real & regular interaction by talking (phone or Skype), writing by letter or email.

    PS: I think you need to amend the final paragraph. In the past few months, there have been at most, four contributors to the LBC.
    Grannymar recently posted..Thursday Special ~ Dads

    1. I agree. Friendships are deep relationships that need to be built over sharing of views and that cannot be done by leaving a like comment. But the internet does provide other means of establishing sound relationships by mail, blogs, blog comments etc and those have replaced the old pen pal system is all that I maintain. It was not my intention to say that the internet enables strong relationships, but properly used it indeed can. On the other hand, the pen pal system also could not unless it progressed to different levels.

  2. The ability to touch someone else’s life through the internet is phenomenal. BTW if anyone is kind enough to leave a comment on my blog – provided it’s meaningful and not just a platitude – it does awaken positive feelings which can lead to something more meaningful. Grannymar has a point, for sure, but some people are destined to be close to us, others are more like ships that pass each other in the night. If someone has sailed close by for a while, that too is good. We can’t be best friends and close confidantes with everyone we meet, but we can be positive about our interactions with others. In my book, that makes life more enjoyable.
    Maria recently posted..LBC Friday Post – Pen Pals

    1. Well said Maria. In all these developments, some mysterious hand seems to play a role. You well know how our association grew as the association with a few others that came my way through your blog’s comment box.

  3. Hey Rummy,

    My friend, my pal, I have super glad our paths crossed (I have told you this n times) and I feel blessed for having the chance to learn from you.
    I never had pen pals in my teen age; however now I have plenty of internet pals. The world wide web brought a huge globe together and we can learn so many things about each other’s culture, religion, habits in a relative short time – it is like travelling around the world in 7 days per week :).

    Awesome post.

    Max Coutinho recently posted..The Social Media & Personal Security

  4. I have never had a ‘pen pal’ in the technical sense, or for that matter any other sense. Finding a pen pal would have probably required more summer camps, more traveling or the family making more moves.

    I too have to agree with ‘Grannymar’ that those we meet through social media can more precisely be defined as acquaintances. It’s certainly not to say that those acquaintances can not become friends but exchanging comments on a blog or Facebook does not a friend make.
    Alan G recently posted..The Big-Three Network’s TV Nightly News Anchors….

Comments are closed.