Pen pals, having one and having been one, is something I’ve be reminiscing about recently. I’ve also been proposing that people start writing to other people. Either me, a friend, or – in true pen pal tradition – some rando. Being pen pals is a great way to connect again or for the first time. Here are some reasons why.
- It is and always has been, socially distanced.
- Smooths out the awkward re-entry to socializing. Face it, it’s been awhile. Things are going to be weird. Hide the weirdness in a piece of long form writing.
- You get to talk about yourself in large chunky monologues. Just let it flow! Let it all out.
- Your pen pals also gets to talk about themselves in large chunky monologues. Which is great because people are like TV shows. Imagine trying to watch a show again after missing a couple of seasons. Because – *SPOILER ALERT* – that’s what has happened!
- Connecting via video and phone are great, but they are a bottle neck. The conversation is real time. People will accidentally talk over one another. Smaller, but just as important details and threads of thought will be lost. The minutia is easier to track in written from.
- You don’t have worry about being muted or if the camera is on.
- There are so many ways to write! By hand, phone, or computer are obvious. Go pull that typewriter or wordprocessor out of some closet. Send it by email or blow the dust off that printer and classic mail it! Who doesn’t love mail that isn’t bills?
- Perhaps best of all, writing can be done on your own schedule. No need to set up a coinciding time with your pal. Write and read at your convenience.