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  1. N.Kalinowski August 10, 2011 -

    This seems to be so true.
    I wrote my last handwritten letter about 10 years ago. Only books will stay for all the old school reader like me, I think. It’s like vinyl for music.
    But I guess in the nearest future nobody will use maps anymore. With a navigation system you really don’t need that.
    But that’s life, somet hings change and some things stay.
    Regards, Norbert.

    • Joel Basa August 10, 2011 -

      Norbert, you’re right! Vinyl records are another great example. I could also argue that a standalone navigation system (GPS) will become obsolete soon. My phone has GPS. I believe its the same reason why Flip pocket video Camera’s will no longer being produced…phones do essentially the same thing.

      After I wrote the blog post yesterday, I decided I would write a handwritten letter to my friend…funny part was, my hand hurt afterwards. I’m just not used to it!


  2. Manolo Mendoza August 10, 2011 -

    I feel bad because I also have a friend who also writes handwritten letters that I respond to by calling, e-mail, IM’s or text messages. Sometimes letter writing seems inconvenient, old-fashioned and outdated, along with the additional cost of postage. I think my writing has been limited to printing and mostly when it comes to filling out paper forms when I don’t have the option of doing it electronically. I seem to type for everything now and can’t even remember the last time I have written much in cursive after high school other than for my signature.

    Things are changing faster than some people are used to and the old format is sometimes modified for a new use or convenience. Sort of like telling someone to “roll down” a car window by moving your arm in a circle, except now it’s a push button or asking to “tape” a tv show even though its digitally recorded on a DVR. As for vinyl, DJ’s today still prefer to use vinyl records except now they have the option to use time coded vinyl to manipulate mp3’s on a laptop. There are digital pens that capture handwriting to send electronically and Skype/FaceTime to see and talk to someone, but for me there is still more than just a difference in medium and nice to see a handwritten note on paper, hearing the warm sounding pops and crackles on an old record or talking to someone in person that is not easily replaced.
    Regards, Manolo

  3. Hal August 10, 2011 -

    Great subject and quite timely…just yesterday I was without my Blackberry for nearly a full day. I found myself to be lost and quite unproductive. Thinking I would check-in with the office, I searched for a payphone…and searched and searched. The only phone booth I found, the phone had been removed. This was a sobering experience of how we have become such a “mobile” society.

    And finally – my Mother, not being in our electronic world, still writes me a letter once a week. I look forward to them and find them comforting to have – and I will have those letters long after she is gone. This lost treasure of something handwritten by someone will never be replaced by an email or text messages.

    All the best – Hal

  4. Juny August 10, 2011 -

    “They don’t make things the way they used to. When I was a kid… walk to school…” I didn’t think I’d be saying these things for a while, but how times have changed.

    When I was younger, there’s nothing like receiving a hand written letter and notice things such as: the design on the stamp and date stamp of how long it took to mail from the sending address and appreciation of the other person taking the time to write you.

    In this day and age where it helps to have access to a computer and an e-mail address, Technology has not always been beneficial.

    Look around: Online bill pay, bumper stickers on cars with web addresses, TV commercials, etc.

    Although convenient, how many times have you placed blame on the computers? East Coast Electricity blackout, computers down at airline terminals, Credit card debt, etc.

    People wonder with e-mails if the Post office will go out of business. Some have closed, but everyone still needs to receive packages such as Christmas gifts.

    A while ago, a group of friends were cashing out our individual checks at a restaurant and the waitress got confused and cashed out different amounts for different credit cards. When I got home, I checked online and was charged twice! To make a long story short, the manager refunded me my money, but I remember someone saying, “Cash is King!” In a grocery store I frequent, there’s even a “Cash Only” register, but you’ll never see that in any major grocery store. In DC, I even saw credit card readers on the parking meters themselves!

    I think I overheard teachers aren’t teaching cursive in schools now. Or offering Physical Education classes. That’s what I was looking forward to each day! What is going on?

    There’s a scene in the movie Back to Future 3 where Doc says something like, “In the future, people run around for exercise and not to go from one point to another” and everyone in the bar laughs. How true. I wonder what they will come up with next? In the meantime, I’ll stick with my letters and you should be receiving your return letter shortly.

  5. Ralph H. Stoos Jr. August 11, 2011 -

    I am quite old but I still remember in Catholic School when the nuns did not allow ball point pens as they wanted pencils to allow for writing without denting the paper as much.

    They claimed it was better to be able to see the stroke of the pencil lighten and darken as you wrote.

    In grade school I was never allowed to write any essay/paper with pen. I did have a cartridge ink pen for a while and the nuns thought it a novelty but it was soon “forbidden”.

    It has been at least 30 years since I have used any cursive writing with the exception of my signature.

    Both my sons are mystified as to why I text in proper English with punctuation etc. They find that “old” and I insist that to keep the skills you must use them. I have to admit that I don’t remember how to diagram a sentence since that has been 50 years since having to do that.

    As with many if I don’t use it I lose it.

  6. Dale August 11, 2011 -

    I also seldom put ‘pen to paper’ but find when I
    do that it changes my ‘thinking.’ Some information seems to flow more easily through my hand than my fingers (? mind-mappiing ?)

    Encounted factoid that some service positions still mandate written applications. The ‘customer-facing’ employee and their corresponding support person must write their communication to each other. If the application is illegible, they will not be hired. Wonder if medical ‘mis-adventures’ could be eliminated wth that precept?

  7. Kelly August 12, 2011 -

    Loved this post… there’s so much more character when you write something in a letter. It feels so much more personal. And I feel like you can gauge a person’s mood better.

  8. indirimmania August 17, 2011 -

    Soldier young people sends letter to their family or darling with handwriting in Turkey.Technology is slowly killing the feelings maybe.But adds convenience to our lives.

  9. Brittany October 14, 2011 -

    Couldn’t agree more. A written letter has a lot of sentimental value that an email message just doesn’t produce. It’s sad to see so many forms of art go by the way side as a result of the transition to digital technology.

    • Joel Basa October 19, 2011 -

      Brittany, yes, its sad to see “art forms” like a written disappearing. Let’s revive it!

      [Xerox Employee]

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