In The Age Of Instant Messages, Realize The Power Of The Postcard Writing

Technology has made all our lives easier and that is an undebatable statement. From waking up to the ringing of a very accurate morning alarm to having a watch on your wrist that can not only tell you the time but also count the calories you burnt, the number of steps you take, heart rate, blood pressure, and whatnot! There is barely anything left for you to do!

Every difficulty mankind had, mankind himself thought and worked on it and came up with a tech-based solution for it. Too lazy to get up and switch off the lights of the room? Great, we have Alexa/Siri at your service!

The covid pandemic hit and everyone needs to get their oxygen levels checked. Great, let’s add that feature to a smartwatch.

No patience or time to send a letter and wait for a reply? There are several social media platforms where you can send and receive texts instantly.

As there has been an age-old saying that ‘to win something, we must lose something first’. So, in this era of fast-working machines and instant outcomes, what have we lost?

As Indians, we have all grown up watching or watching our older siblings watching dramatic Bollywood movies and songs where the lead actress writes a letter to her loved one and sends it through a pigeon. As hard as it is to believe, this was a real practice (minus the pigeon part), letter writing and postcard writings were a real thing! Sounds a lot like a practice from the age of bygones, but before we had our Instagram DMs and WhatsApp messaging, that was the only medium to send a meaningful or heartfelt message to someone. The wait and process were even longer when even telephones did not exist!

Definitely, instant messages do save us a lot of time and the adrenaline rush (out of the anxiousness we feel after sending someone a message), but because of all our demands being met at a few finger clicks, we, as millennials or ‘Gen Zs’ do not know the beauty of the wait. The wait required a lot of patience and was accompanied by so many presumptions. 

The feeling that someone writes a postcard with, and the emotional value that it holds is unmatched.

There is no paragraph or long text message that can even come close to it. With such a small frame to write in, the words must be wisely chosen so that it fits the space limitation as well as conveys the intended message. Unlike the instant messages today that is typed and sent so mindlessly!

As the conversation continues, the text message can be lost somewhere in the long chatbox while a postcard is something that one can preserve lifelong! With a unique image and personal message, most people choose to preserve the postcards they receive, truly standing true to the value they hold.

In many European countries, postcards are even given as gifts. Especially on festivals like Christmas. It is very common for postcards to be exchanged between teachers and their fellow students. As a student myself, I know what a postcard was written personally for me by my favorite teacher in their own handwriting would mean to me. It is something I would cherish for the rest of my life, and prefer any day over a text message that I might lose after a change of phone. 

With these instant text messages taking over, that come along with their terrible trendy abbreviations, the beautiful art of writing seems to be in great danger. I’m sure most of us either depend on autocorrect for basic spellings or don’t care at all. There is barely any thought behind the messages we send. Maybe we will never know the beauty in the patience that one needs to sit and think and pen down something on a postcard that came out straight from the heart. 

It is essential that educational institutes must include postcard writing as one of the tasks or activities in their syllabus for the subject of English. Not only to improve the writing skills or keep the grammatical knowledge of the students in check but also to keep the ancient culture of postcard writing alive. After all, practicing literacy inspires literacy.

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