Imagine, if you will, a world without the Internet. No e-mails. Just the written word, phones and fax machines.
That was the world in my youthful '20s, my glorious backpacking days. Say goodbye to your family for at least six months, put your worldly belongings -- plus a spare toilet roll, essential -- on your back, hop on a plane and see what adventures lie ahead.
But my loving family back home wanted to hear about those adventures. Because my mum and dad were divorced at the time, I didn't want one to feel "left out." So, I wrote two letters exactly the same and posted one to each parent. Took a little longer, but when the cows are milked or the crops are harvested, there isn't a lot to do other than sit in the sun, think about life and write.
Fast forward to the modern world. Write an e-mail, string a few paragraphs together, add in a couple of random LOLs and a smiley face ... and BCC that message to all your family members at once. Job done, and on with Netflix.
I know, I know. Can't live in the past. Times change. Don't be an old fart. Etc. etc.
So when Facebook introduced its Reactions option the other day, it made it easier for us to go one step further from the basic Like into the whole gamut of emotions. With one single, lazy click, your online friends and family can now love, laugh, be surprised, sad or angry at your posts. Then move on. To Netflix.
Of course Facebook is free and no one forces you to use it and give up your privacy. I choose to and enjoy it, actually. Great way for keeping in touch with people I care about here in Toronto and worldwide.
But it's a little sad when there's another incentive just to be lazy and click an icon to express a response, rather than crafting those words and thoughts. But then again, when did you last go out to the shops, choose a birthday card, write a nice message, buy a stamp and go to a post box to mail it to a friend on Facebook ... instead of clicking the "wish your friend a happy birthday" option?
Don't think I've done that for a while. Shame. Written sentiments via pen and paper are very rare these days, which is what makes them more special if you receive one.
(Don't want to get into "business speak" on a Friday, but try writing a "thanks for being a client" handwritten letter now and again, see what happens ...)
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Have a great weekend!