Finding A Penpal In The Modern Day
Why is finding a penpal these days so difficult? The obvious answer is modern technology. When emailing, texting, and instant messaging are available, it’s not hard to see why the practice of letter writing has declined in recent years. It’s just so, well, instant. Letters, on the other hand, take days (or more) to receive, and it takes more time to actually sit down and write someone a letter. Plus, you have to have paper, envelopes, and stamps, and worry about how many stamps you’ll need. Sometimes you’ll have to make a trip to your local post office to make sure everything is set to mail so that it doesn’t get returned to you and you’d have to start the process all over again.
Why even deal with that? What’s the point when you can send a text or instant message in less than a minute, free of charge? I know, I get it. But who doesn’t love receiving something in the mail? It’s just so much more special that way because you know that that person took the time to gather the supplies, go through the writing process, find the appropriate number of stamps, and be patient enough to wait for it to reach you and receive a response in return. It’s exciting and personal and you’ll have something to look forward to every month. You’ll also have the letters to save and reread any time you want.
There are other obstacles in finding a penpal. If you’ve never actually met the person before, there’s the initial getting-to-know-you stage where two strangers email or Skype one another until they’re comfortable that the other person is not a total psychopath who will send them a package of dead kittens. Although, usually people don’t just want to hand out their mailing address to someone they met on the internet. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are absolutely certain that they are who they say they are and you feel safe about it.
Then there’s the dilemma of actually finding someone to write in the first place. Do you want to write a friend or family member? They may think you’re crazy for even suggesting it. “Who even writes letters anymore?” “I don’t have the time to write a letter.” “We can just email each other instead.” Hey, who knows! Maybe they’ll come around and want to give it a try. Maybe it’ll surprise them how much they enjoy writing and receiving letters!
Would you rather write to someone in another country and learn about their culture? Do you want to just write to someone you’ve never met who lives in another city? If you’re still in school, you could ask a teacher if there’s a academic club or program that arranges penpal relationships. What about that foreign exchange student who attended your school last year? Why not try writing to them and see if they’re interested? If you’re not currently in school, it may be easier to find a penpal website that will aid you in finding like-minded people. And if that doesn’t work, you could always find someone through a social media account who might be interested. It’s somewhat ironic that modern technology might help you out in finding a pen pal after all! Just remember to take the proper online precautions. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
In the end, it’s hard to find a penpal in this day and age. Most people just aren’t interested and it’ll take some time to find someone who is willing to write to you. Don’t give up hope! There are people out there who are in the same position as you and you might just find each other. Letter writing may be old-fashioned and time consuming but I think it’s certainly worth it.
What do you think about writing letters? Let us know in the comments!