Snail Mail Against Technology

A Repost of an old entry of mine in Multiply in 2008

Sailing through the ocean

Neglecting the rough waves and heavy storms

Snails win the race against lizards as snails walk slowly, and patiently.

A wonderful journey to amazing continents

Ignoring time differences between you and me

Longing to be in each other’s arms at the end

May we be optimistic

Awaiting for the sunset secret to reveal

Intimate in our own ways

Long journey, indeed, to unite

July 3rd, 2008 – Surabaya, the Sparkling City

I still remember one morning when I sat down on a porch of my parents’ looking at my mom’s sweet roses thinking of nothing but feeling happy instead; it was the end of the academic year, and that meant long holidays were about to say hello. It was somewhen in 1989, and I can’t be wrong with the year as I was living in such a nice city in West Java, Indonesia. Since I was a little, I had been moving from one city to another quite often for my father used to work in a forestry department looking for some greenery, and forests to anaylize . Having been moving from one place to another quite so many times that I had to adapt to new languages (local dialects ), new friends, new schools, new food ( but this one was not so much of a problem) , I found one of the hardest problems to overcome, which was having to say goodbye to my old friends; so that was when I started SNAIL MAILS.

On a regular basis, I wrote my old friends letters; sharing new stories, and photos. It gave a nice feeling when one morning you heard your door being knocked or when you checked your letter box you found the letters you’d been waiting for:

Voila! I got a letter from A, B,C…

or perhaps you got extremely happy, almost fainted when you received unexpected letters; the letters from people whom you never thought had been thinking about you.

Each and everyone of us is somehow important to some people secretly.

Writing long letters was something I enjoyed doing back then. I am not sure when I stopped doing it; writing long letters, then sending them via airmail. I think it was around 1996 or 1997 when I entered a new path of life: High School life. Snail mail sometimes comes in a form of a greeting card. Greeting cards with only some lines of saying as a token of care, love, and friendship, probably anger too? or poems written on them; nothing really like small talks or discussion about some certain subjects in depth.

Then, slowly, pagers, bulky mobile phones touched human life. Snail mail has started to lose its charm. It has started to lose the power of connecting people. It has been neglected by many. Postmen have had less workload ever since. Perhaps, they are now tapping their fingers on the desk waiting for the working time to be over .” Let’s call it a day!”

Having entered another new path of life, where responsibility and dedication to what I was doing were much needed to accomplish the life goals: University level. I, too, began to neglect snail mail as I started to fall in love with SMS, e-mailings, and instant messaging through the internet. Texting is indeed fast-I even can now text you in just a second, and just as fast as I blink my eyes we are communicating each other regardless time differences.

I am almost certain that people now “fall in love” with state-of-the-art technology ; video calling or whatever advanced technology on the way.

It is not that I am against technology.In fact, technology like e-mails, SMS, video calling / tele conference can be such great helpers in human life these days, yet I think they can result some bad effects on us as well.


Has Snail mail totally been sleeping soundless?

All of a sudden, I remember a true story traced back in 1890s something, the true story I read back then at school:

A love letter in the bottle floated along the rough sea.The letter sent by a lovelorn man to a lady of his dream whom he only met once somewhere. The end of the story, the lady got the letter. What a great romance!

Now even some romance blossom on the internet.

Snail mail in my eyes is another way of connecting people in a different way; you feel more attached to the people whom you are writing to. Even though there have been some changes, especially in the contents:

People prefer using a few words to express their thoughts. But you know what?

  • It’s nice to read the handwriting of the people I feel attached to.
  • It’s wonderful to know that they take their times to use their hands and mind to communicate with me.
  • It gives me a nice feeling when I take my time making my own greeting cards for them.
  • It makes me smile, jump in a joyful state of mind when I spare a moment writing poems for the one(s) I love.

I believe this kind of conventional communication never really dies.At least it does not in my side of the world, my world.

Now, time to go back to work!


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2 responses to “Snail Mail Against Technology

  1. I prefer snail mail but sometimes it’s not easy to send / receive one from here, as you might already know. Maybe that’s why I print the important e-mail sometimes … but that’s just me. 🙂

    • Not easy? how so? It’s a big city. Did I miss something? I often print out important e-mails as well. It’s nice to be able to read them anywhere I am/:-)

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