Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Chalk & Talk teacher: Why have we stopped writing letters?

Chalk & Talk teacher: Why have we stopped writing letters?

Dr P Vyasamoorthy



Text Box: •	Phone Bill •	Credit Card Statement •	Real estate brochures •	Half a dozen newsletters •	Electricity Bill •	Wedding Invitation •	Lecture invitation  •	Lecture invitationWav! Quite a bunch of mail I could collect as I looked into my mail box when I returned home. Being the beginning of the month, my mailbox was full. Enough to keep me busy for a couple of days. But something struck me as strange. No personal mail? Well, when was it that I wrote a letter to any friend or relative to expect one in return? I can not remember.


With the onslaught of Email, Voice and Video Chatting, most of us have forgotten the fine art of sending snailmail. I abhor writing letters with pen and paper and posting them. Just plain lazy, I should admit.


My brother and my mother in Chennai are strangers to the computer even now. There must be plenty like them everywhere. How do we reach such people? Only through Landline phone or mobile?  Phones are for business like communication – Do me that, bring me this etc. What do you do when you want to, say,


  • Share your emotions in a planned way
  • Send a joke that is better read than told
  • Send a copy of some old archaic family photo allowing him to keep it himself  
  • Tell him how your handwriting has worsened and let him have the pleasure of deciphering your non-medical gibberish OR
  • Leave details of some recipe that he will cook and relish later on?


To realize that I have been denying myself such small and simple pleasures was horrifying. Just as "Chalk & Talk teachers" don't we still have "Pen & Paper" only friends and relatives who refuse to be untouched by Computers? Can we deprive ourselves of their company? Snailmail is the only answer in such situations.


Just get back to scribbling your thoughts to your friends on paper and post it. They will be happy to see you in flesh – connection being your writing.  As a partial solution to tackle that laziness part I may suggest that you may type in your letters in the PC and send it over Email to your relative through E-Post. E-Post helps you compose an email, transfer the same to the postmaster nearest to your addressee and give him the full address so that the post office may take a print out, put that in an envelope and deliver it like ordinary letter to your friend. Complete details of E-post are available at:

http://indiapost.nic.in/login/login.jsp. Postal department charges just Rs 6.00 per one A4 sheet of message to be transmitted.  Prepaid coupons are available starting from Rs 250/- Presently only text messages but in many local languages are possible.


Preaching about pen and paper technology see how I slipped back to ICT! That is the power of technology to make everyone lazy and impersonal. A sensible blend of personal touch in maintaining relationships and friendships and at the same time getting the most of out technology is essential.


Well, I will be back to pen and paper; Will you? Don't give in to laziness: Just try & C!


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