Pen Pal Friendships

Readers share personal accounts of their pen pals.

| September/October 2010

England and America Meet Through Pen Pal Program

In today’s world, writing letters is almost obsolete, and Facebook (a social networking website where people can keep in touch with friends and family on the Internet) has taken the place of pen pals. For people who use Facebook, the more names they can tie into and add as “friends,” the more contact they have with friends and family. However, they don’t know what they’re missing by using Facebook instead of having actual pen pals.

Writing letters to a pen pal – or anybody in your life for that matter – means sharing your life and feelings with a person, then waiting in anticipation for days – or what used to be weeks – to receive a written response in the mail.

I didn’t have a special boyfriend in high school, and maybe that’s why I liked the idea of having a pen pal from overseas. I don’t remember where I heard about the pen pal program, or where I got Robert’s name, but I began a pen pal relationship with this young man from England.

We wrote many letters back and forth and exchanged numerous photographs over a few years. I learned some interesting things about England, and I assume he learned some interesting things about my life in the United States of America.

After graduation, we both got busy with other activities, and we stopped writing. But it was an experience I’ve never forgotten, and one that will always remind me of a time when communication was something that was more personal and not done over the Internet through social networking websites like Facebook.

Nola - Bartlesville, Oklahoma

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