The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Bring letters back

Maybe I’m a hopeless romantic, or possibly just old-fashioned, but what has been bothering me for awhile is the fact that people, in general, do not write letters anymore. One of the greatest moments in 2008 for me was uncovering a long-lost love letter from my grandfather to my grandmother. The letter wasn’t overly romantic, but I felt love in the simplicity of his words to her. I’m not sure when the letter was written, but I do know that he was in the military and somewhere far away from her when he wrote it. He describes to her what he has been doing and when he plans on getting home. In all honestly, it’s about the blandest love letter in the world, but it’s still here, even when they’re not. When I think about how my grandmother felt when she received the letter from my grandfather, I imagine that it had been a few weeks, or maybe even months, since she had heard from him. I envision her being absolutely ecstatic when she opened her mailbox and saw a letter from him. Then I think about myself opening up my mailbox and finding worthless magazines and advertisements. I can hardly imagine how I would react if I found an actual letter in my mailbox! In today’s society, people typically write emails or text messages instead of letters. These messages are easily erased and lost in the ever-growing world of cyberspace. For example, I can delete an email or a text message in two clicks. I wonder how many messages I should have saved, but for some odd reason, deleted. It’s not surprising how easily and quickly messages are erased. We live in a fast-moving time where deals are dropped and money is lost when time is wasted. The faster we operate, the quicker everything becomes more meaningless and hollow. I think how many of the messages that I deleted would be still saved if I would have attached any meaning to them. Text messages and emails are so generic, always being in the same font without anything to show the true feelings of the writer other than the words. Writing a letter causes the writer, knowingly or unknowingly, to express his or her thoughts through his or her handwriting. Furthermore, today’s communication is so fast, that people no longer have the sense of longing for a message. Supposedly, absence makes the heart grow fonder, but how can anyone’s heart grow fonder if anyone on the earth can communicate with anyone else on the earth in about five seconds? I am, of course, not trying to completely belittle technology. In emergency situations, the speed of technology is necessary. However, the majority of the people today use technology regularly for recreational services. In fact, communicating through technology is so popular in today’s society, I’m not sure if letter writing will ever be revived. All I know is that I enjoyed having a piece of my grandparents’ life, even when they both have been gone for years. I think there’s something romantic about writing letters and saving them so people decades or possibly even centuries from now can read them. The letter from my grandfather to my grandmother wasn’t a spectacular love letter that will ever be turned into a romance movie, but reading it made me feel closer to them, which no email or text message has ever done.

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