The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update


September 21, 2013

Jim Bailey: Era of pen pals gives way to social media


As for writing letters, it doesn’t happen much anymore. I have to admit, even as one who wrote for a living, sitting down to write a letter or send a card to someone was a task I found easy to put off or avoid entirely.

These days most people, especially younger ones, Facebook or Twitter. Or they text. If they really want to be thoughtful they send an e-card. I’ve even found myself poring through online obituaries from my old hometown and adding condolences on the newspaper website for someone I knew many decades ago.

My wife, like many other old-schoolers, is an exception. She still finds it more personal to send cards by snail mail for birthdays or anniversaries or send condolences. We still use postage stamps at our house.

As for me, in the electronic age I’ve found it increasingly easier to stick a brief birthday greeting on a friend’s Facebook page. And the bulk of our Christmas greetings go out by email.

As for my old would-be pen pal Arne Sandli, even Google hasn’t provided much meaningful help.

Jim Bailey’s reflections on Anderson’s past appear on Sunday. His regular column appears on Thursday. He can be reached by email at

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