May 24, 2016

It's a digital world

My college-age son, With-a-Why, leaves tomorrow morning for a summer abroad. On his facebook page, he posted a message to let friends that he wouldn't be getting text messages: "My phone will not be in service over there, so if you want to contact me, it will have to be via email, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Facebook message, or carrier pigeon."

Immediately, everyone began posting silly ways they might get in touch with him. Urban Sophisticate Sister said she was going to send smoke signals from the eastern most point of Long Island. Sparkly Eyes said, "I'll make sure Film Guy sends a raven should a king be deposed or the like." Someone else said, "I'm buying an owl."

Then Shy Smile, his longtime girlfriend, left a comment saying that she might send him some snail mail. Yes, something in an envelope with an address and a stamp on it. The ridiculous thing is that I had not even considered that option.

12 comments:

DJan said...

Hahaha! Made me laugh, but also ponder what a different world we live in today. :-)

Elephant's Child said...

No messages in bottles?
This dinosaur retains a soft spot for snail mail... Which our postal system is making more and more difficult (and expensive).

Contingent Cassandra said...

I have both the (snail-mail, of course) letters my mother wrote home during her year abroad, and my own letters (to both parent and grandparents) from a shorter sojourn of my own. And I have courting letters from parents and one set of grandparents (I think my brother has half o the correspondence from the other half; apparently soldiers in WWI weren't in a position to keep their sweethearts' letters). They offer a marvelous view of the correspondents at a particular time in their lives, long before we, their descendants, knew them.

I hope at least some of the electronic traces from the present generation will remain. There will probably be more pictures, if fewer words. But the change still seems like a loss.

jo(e) said...

Yeah, I know what you mean. In a box in the basement, I have all the letters I got when I was a college student living in London. My daughter spent a semester in London, and I have no letters from then. We mostly talked on the computer.

Martha Spong said...

Love this. I hope there are letters he will treasure.

Zhoen said...

Nothing as lovely as a letter on actual paper.

When I was away from home, I wrote many such. Never received as many, but the few I did were wholly welcome.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Love letters!! :)

Jeanie said...

I think I really like Shy Smile!

lizardek said...

Delurking to say this really made me laugh :)

L said...

oh, I miss letters!! I really do! I used to be really good at writing letters... sigh...

One summer (1992, probably) my boyfriend (now husband) wrote me a letter and mailed it to me every single day! I think only one got lost. I have all of them. And more.

Vivian L. said...

Hello, you don't know me, but I started visiting your blog since 2006. I love your writing and posts, and I was into writing in my online diary a lot at the time (when I was college-age). It was nice to read stories of your family and classes; it's always so heart-warming, like visiting your home and being invited to sit around the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows. The way you raise your children is also really admirable, and I like reading about your relationships with them. Back then, I remember reading about With-A-Why cuddling up to you and it was so cute. As time went on, I stopped blogging and moved on to other things in life. I would think of you from time to time and visit your blog at those times. Today is one of those times after a very, very long gap. When I saw your post that With-A-Why is now a college-age son, I was for some reason so shocked, as my image was still of him being so young and cuddling with you. Where did the time go? It was only then that I realized it's been 10 years since I first visited your blog. Anyway, that's all I wanted to say :) I hope you have a great weekend.

jo(e) said...

Aw, thanks Vivian. It's so nice to hear from you. I too am in shock at how old my kids are! My daughter is now a clinical psychologist, Boy-in-Black is a physicist, Shaggy Hair Boy is a high school math teacher, and only With-a-Why is still at home. He's only got one more year of college. They've all turned out to be wonderful adults.