Social Media in the "Stone Age," Part II

By John Janaro


I shall always be grateful that there were still letters a generation ago, in my own youth.

I was a good correspondent with many people, and often wrote long, interesting letters (I wonder where they all are today). I still spend a good portion of each day writing "letters," although they are now in the form of emails or "messages" in various inboxes. I would like to think that I give my correspondence the same (if not more) attention as I did a generation ago, but I cannot be sure, because I have no copies of anything I wrote back then (whereas I have copies of everything I have written the past several years--which is useful for a writer, because ideas are always germinating in the midst of correspondence).

Indeed, correspondence has always been a form of "thinking out loud" for me; my mind actually ponders things via the written word, especially if there is someone on the other end who I know will be considering things with me. Personal letters with friends were a source of inspiration. Because of our common interests and my particular desire to communicate with them, they have always been able to get me to think and to express myself.

The internet has multiplied and introduced a certain chaos factor into this possibility for inspiration. It is easy for too much energy to flow into paths of bantering and chattiness. Still that is not my business online. Though it is true that a "comment" can often grow into something much more extensive, my preferred manner of communication remains sustained pieces of text.

Communications media are expanding in many different directions. Nevertheless I think there will always be a place for the written text.