We are all in grave danger. Seriously, friends! This very morning, I heard some pundit discussing the future of letter mail: Is it redundant, should it not perhaps be disbanded?
Please, NO. Think for a few seconds: did you not just hear that the internet has been blocked in Egypt? Text-messaging blocked? In China, websites are ‘harmonized’ (blocked) whenever it suits the government, while all email is monitored for subversive or critical-of-the-government content. Yes, our most popular means of communication are incredibly vulnerable to outside forces: government or industry mischief, power failures, weather vagaries, satellite melt-downs, ISP’s deciding that emails from particular web-servers are not to be allowed in (so you don’t ever get the email!), and I’m sure you could think of more. The more complex the system, the more places there are to break it.
If we have something important and meaningful to say, a letter speaks volumes. A birthday card, a note of condolence: they are especially valuable these days for the care that they imply, and their rarity. I do archive all the strange cryptic emails I receive from my family, but they could all disappear in a single electromagnetic whoosh. I value the letters my mother saved from the days when I was at sea (although I do wonder how they ever deciphered them). We’d sometimes go six weeks between mail deliveries on the ships, so it was with huge anticipation that I leafed through the mail stack for the right stamp and type of paper that meant: a letter from John, mailed months ago. These all bring back thoughts and poignant memories long buried. Emails don’t hold a candle to that.
This is a strange message to share on-line, but there are many, many people (even knitters!) who still do not have computers or access to the internet and never will. I feel for them already, as they are becoming a ‘lesser’ class of citizen, due to the fact that so many services now are only being offered on-line. Community-access programs help (not widely available in the world), but let’s please not forget these people! Sending real paper-based mail is simple, slow, and not nearly as subject to being fiddled with as electronic mail.
Rant is over. Now, back to my Holstein Udder…