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The Anti-140 Character

January 17, 2012

If there were social media ‘types’ I suppose I would classify myself as the anti-140 character. It’s a loosing battle I know and I’m working on it. Last year I opened my first Twitter account but have yet to use it. Adopting the 140-character limitation is proving to be too much for my letter writing soul to bear. Every fiber in my being resists the microblog platform in lieu of my macro-sized love affair with hand written correspondence. When a tweet takes flight through my line of vision, I find it leaves a lot to be desired.

Acronyms, hashtags, and shorthanded memorandums don’t really make a lasting and meaningful impression on me. I understand that a stripped down interface is a necessary tradeoff for spreading data at the speed of light, it’s just that some things, many things, are worth waiting for. What does it say about our culture when the majority of us embrace a lack of commitment to time? Surely the rewards for an extended effort in communication far out weigh the extended effort itself.

For days like today when I’m in need of a more visceral data transmission I look to my postcard collection. The only thing standardized about them is that they are not posted in an envelope and fit a physical frame that maximizes the minimal cost of mailing a mico-message. Beyond that, the tiny parcel bares beautifully hand written notes capturing a personalized snapshot of time between friends. Holding an object that was hand picked and written just for you is the most heart warming, soul lifting experience. It makes my heart flutter through the window painted by the beloved sender on a slower, more satisfying journey.

Below is a 1930’s postcard from my collection.  A friend had found it for me while scouring through secondhand shops in Montreal about twenty years ago. She was kind enough to include a note translating what it said. I find it just as interesting to look at today as I did back then. I’d be hard pressed to say the same thing about a tweet sent to me last week, never mind two decades ago.

Postcard from the 1930's

© Dana Aubrey, Personal Post Card Collection

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Bianca permalink
    June 9, 2012 10:38 am

    That was so long ago! —Oh time flies! —But we all still write! the same way. —I see a cardboard and paper rose —-but more than that —-the flesh and bone of friendship. -JB.

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