Penpals

Boredie

In need of Entertainment
#1
Do you have any? Did you have in the past?
Do you have any nowadays that you kept in touch before the internet?

These days, does having a penpal mean writing emails?
Your thoughts.. :)
 

Mirage

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#2
I remember in grade school I had a penpal for a year. I don't remember anything about the guy though because I never kept up with him.

It was some kid in another school (I think he was in the US) and it was some sort of penpal program that my teacher had set up with this other school. I guess it was just two classes writing to people in the other class but I don't know for sure.

Nowadays I just keep up with people over the internet. I haven't mailed an actual letter for the longest time.
 
#4
Do you have any? Did you have in the past?

I do not have any pen pals these days. I've had a few in the past. One in the UK who was a kid of one of my mom's friends. He and I corresponded back in middle school. Then around 14 he just stopped returning my letters... He still says something brief to me in the letter that his family sends around the holidays, but we aren't pen pals anymore.

Then back in elementary school (4th grade), there was a program that we had with a school in France. So I corresponded with 2 boys from France for a while. I kept in touch with one for about a year after that.

Do you have any nowadays that you kept in touch before the internet?

I wouldn't really call them pen pals... But there's a guy in Scotland who was working on a Literary Magazine with me. We were the only two teens on the project, and we started talking a good deal then, and we stay in touch intermittently through e-mails.

These days, does having a penpal mean writing emails?

No! Definitely not. It's a really awesome experience getting letters from someone, especially someone from another country. Seeing the cool stamps, exchanging comments about local culture, it's just not the same in e-mails.

AEH
 

Boredie

In need of Entertainment
#5
My first penpal was my 2nd cousin from UK. Her grandma who came to visit us suggested we start writing to each other to get to know each other, and both being 8 years old with nothing better to do I went for it.
I've kept all her letters till this day but I think somewhere in 1995-6 we just stopped and got back to communication once we both had internet. Sadly these days because of the internet we hardly seem to chat/email because we are almost always online and we just don 't have that much in common anymore I guess.
The other penpals I had were from Australia and Holland. It was a program where you paid a $1 to get a name and address of someone of your specification (age, gender, location) and they would provide as close as possible and in exchange you will recieve a penpal that chooses you according to their specification. I chose Australia and Holland chose me.
We kept in touch for a year maybe and then it just slowly came to a stop.
It was really thrilling getting letters like that once a month or something.

Because internet is now the only way to go about things penpalism kinda lost its appeal cos communication is so much easier and why would anyone bother writing a letter when they can type it while the other one is online? Oh yes, it's called chat.
 
#6
It's sad that penpals aren't that common anymore though. It was so much more awesome to get a letter from across the country or from another country than it is to get an e-mail from another country. I hope that the tradition stays alive at least a little.

AEH
 

Boredie

In need of Entertainment
#7
How can we convince internet users to go back to the pen and paper?
Maybe we should start a penpal system for GF? For those who like pen & paper.
 

Mirage

Administrator
Staff member
V.I.P.
#8
How can we convince internet users to go back to the pen and paper?
Maybe we should start a penpal system for GF? For those who like pen & paper.
That might not work well for people like me who like the "realtime" aspect of communicating online. :(
 
#9
... The problem that I encounter there is giving out my real name and my address. If I'd been talking to someone for a while and trusted them, I might be willing to do it, but one of the difficulties that using my pen name presents is that I have to be really careful not to disclose certain information... At least until it isn't important that my pen name and my real name are kept two different "people" which is still a few years off...

AEH
 

Mirage

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Staff member
V.I.P.
#10
At least until it isn't important that my pen name and my real name are kept two different "people" which is still a few years off...
Interesting. So what's the downside to people knowing both now but not in a few years? Just curious because I don't know many people (in fact none) that go by a pen name for writing things.