…I turn on my computer, I wait impatiently as it boots up. I go on line, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You’ve got mail. I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart. I have mail… From you.

Before there was digital post there were letters, typically inked by pen and scripted without aid of an auto-speller or software thesaurus. If you were to send something you would take your time, plan, scrutinise, write. With the advent of the personal computer everyone could send a letter blurting out their thoughts and then arranging them to suit whoever it was they were writing. The first steps of personality lost in aid of formality.

When electronic mail became mainstream I’m sure the initial messages were of substance, few people had computers and a minority of them had an account to send to so what you did send was important to them or to you as mail was a rare and special thing.

Now everyone gets at least 3 figures of messages a day, 90% being spam, half a dozen reminders from some other area of the web and a personal mail sent to you by another person. And what format does that most important last piece of mail take? Three sentences? Two? E-mail has become so common place that too infrequently does anything with magnetic content come through.

If you are going to compose a personal communiqué make it a worthwhile occasion for the recipient, make intimate anecdotes, be detailed on trivial occurrences, run your mind thoroughly over the topic without fear of wasting time because every word can lighten a persons day.

3 thoughts on “Mail”

  1. I completely agree with you, when I was younger I was thrilled if I got a bank statement through the post, but now I can get it sent straight to my e-mail inbox ‘to reduce paper work’.
    The only real letters I get are from my friends in Algeria and Norwich, and that’s only when they remember to write!

    I wish I got meaningful e-mails once in a while (hint hint), the things I hate most are chain e-mails, or the ones which say a child is dying from some rare disease and if you send it on some big company will donate a dollar or something, what a load of rubbish!

  2. What a beautiful thought! I never thought of mail in that way but now (as you can tell) I have taken it to heart. Everything I write from now on will be thought out and meaningful.

    Mike how do you do it… you make me think of things that I would normally overlook. This is the sort of thing that I never would have thought about but now it’s going to bug me.

    I have always loved writing letters but have never been very good at them. Thats probably why until recently I never really wrote any kind of letter.

    MWAH xx

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