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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Letters, letter writing and pen pals

    Has the internet and "quick fix" of forums killed of letter writing and pen pals? Have you ever had pen pals? Would you still have pen pals or is it something restricted to younger people or people in their teens? Have you any funny or odd experiences associated with the same?

    I corresponded for ages with a patriotic mentalist in the US who considered all europeans socialists, it was one of the oddest things I can remember about letter writing, apart from the paranoid anarchist punk who'd encase his envelopes in masking tape to stop or frustrate MI5 mail openers.

    Another time I was the "victim" of a Ruskie letter writing scam in which someone writes loads of letters before telling you of a crisis in their life, ie husband leaves them, they dont have the rent, land lord is threatening to put them out but it totally failed with respect to me since I never think "here have money" is any solution to any situation, should it be the beggar on the street or an epidemic in a foreign aid dependent nation. I remember thinking, shit, that's a lot of bad luck all at once. Then they stopped writing. Then a few years later I hear about poor eejits experiencing the same racket and without request simply posting them hard cash and depleting their savings. Eejits.

    From time to time I think about taking it up again but most pen pals networks are for younger people and the internet is just the lazy mans option instead.

    I know some people who're really into it though, sealing folded letters with wax and a ribbon, before using an envelope, very ornate and things to treasure.
    All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.
    Chapter IV, p. 448. - Adam Smith, Book 3, The Wealth of Nations

    whether or not you credit psychoanalysis itself, the fact remains that we all must, to the greatest extent possible, understand one another's minds as our own; the very survival of humanity has always depended on it. - Open Culture

  2. #2
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    I had lots of pen pals when I was younger, one in the Phillipines, one in Russia, and one in France that I especially remember. The France one and I are still in contact, though we haven't written physical letters in many years. We've met in person twice now though, and we keep in touch a bit on Facebook. It's a shame we don't see each other more often, because I think if we did we'd probably be close friends.

    I think in some ways the internet has taken the place of writing physical letters to pen pals, and I think that's okay. It was cool to receive the letters with foreign stamps and what not, but for me the point of having a pen pal was really to get to know someone in a different country, and that can be accomplished much more effectively on the internet.

    I can, however, see the draw of writing letters to a spouse or s.o. who is far away, either a long-distance relationship or just an extended time away for work or what not. I wouldn't take the time for wax and ribbons with a pen pal, but I would for that. I really think the art of writing love letters is lost, and that's a shame.
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

    My blog:
    TypeC: Adventures of an Introvert

  3. #3
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    2 sx/so


    I would love to have a pen pal but I think email and the internet has taken the place of that. I think there is definitely something more intimate to hand-writing a letter. I used to do it when I was in high school but not so much now. People are just so busy now and it kind of sucks.

  4. #4
    right on the left wing Philosorapteuse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    I wish that letters were more common - emails are so ephemeral. I've held letters written over a hundred years ago by my grandfather's grandfather, speculating about what his daughter's children would come to be. That's amazing to me.

    This said, I wish I didn't hate writing letters so much, but I do. Loathe it. I dislike writing emails as it is; letters kindle a burning fire of hatred in me. Probably a relic of being made to write endless thankyou letters after Christmas and birthdays. Ugh.
    "A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." --William James

    I'd be a card-carrying sensotard, but I can't find the goddamn card.

  5. #5
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    My German professor had us hand-write letters to pen pals from a university in Salzburg. My pen pal and I ended up being friends, but after the course ended we moved on to electronic forms of communication. It is kind of unfortunate.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  6. #6
    actinomycetes raindancing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    4w5 sx/sp


    I used to write letters with my friends when I was a teenager. We lived in the same small town and we had email, but we did it just cause it was fun. The letters were small books and the envelopes were works of art
    I'm talking to one friend about starting a communal journal thing, sending it back and forth (we live in different countries). I'd love a pen pal...
    “Can a man of perception respect himself at all?”
    ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  7. #7
    Earth Exalted Thursday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    8w9 sp/sx


    Why don't we establish pen pals on here?
    I N V I C T U S

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