When I was getting ready to start my freshman year, my grandmother, who is very old fashioned, asked me for my address. I gave it to her, but not without making a comment about her having my number that she was welcome to use at any time. She just gave me one of her knowing grandma smiles and said, “There’s just something about a letter that a phone call can’t have.” At the time I didn’t quite understand what she meant, but it didn’t take me long to learn.
Grandma always seemed to have the perfect timing with her letters. On days when I was feeling homesick all I had to do was go to my mailbox and there it was waiting for me. Sometimes it was a full two pages of things she wanted to tell me and others it was a card she made out of a folded piece of paper and a picture of a cute puppy cut out of a magazine glued to the front.
Before first semester was even halfway over I began to look forward to her letters and was disappointed on days I didn’t get one. Grandma was right. There was something special about reading the words she had taken the time to write specifically for me compared to receiving a phone call. Plus, her letters are something I can keep for years to come.
I’m an avid believer that technology is a main factor in making the world go round. The advances we’ve made are amazing and even more amazing ones are constantly in the works. I’m the type of person that always has my cell phone within reach; my iPod not far behind. My notes are typed instead of written and I choose e-mail over snail mail. I am certainly not the only one though.
We live in a world where technology and having the latest gadgets is the norm. When we meet someone new our first instinct is to add them on Facebook. Before Facebook existed we got their cell number in order to text them. Let’s face it, technology is great. It has made our lives easier. We can get tasks done much quicker and fit more into our day. Despite this, though, it’s nice to take a step back and appreciate the smaller things in life.
A few days ago my cell phone broke. The first thing I did was run out to replace it using the warranty. To my dismay, I was told it had to be shipped over and would take a few days to get to me. The representative offered me a loner phone, but it could only make and receive phone calls. I generally text more than I call so I turned it down. I instead left the store without a phone. On my drive home I thought back to my grandma’s letters and how there was something that made them better then any phone call or e-mail I could have received. It was then I got an idea. I decided to make the next few days as technology free as I could.
Finding other things to do rather than be on Facebook, listen to my iPod, or text several people at once was incredibly easy to do. Without Facebook I didn’t have to worry about comparing my life to others. Without my iPod I was able to have a conversation with my dad when he came home from work. Without my phone I had to find other ways of communication. Even if it meant driving to a person’s home to pay them a visit. There was also more time to do things I don’t normally have time for such as reading a new book that I bought back in May. With the demands in today’s society there’s no way I could give up technology for good, but it was nice to have a short break from it all and be able to do the things I love.
When was the last time you sat down, turned off the TV, and had dinner with your family? How long has it been since you sent a letter to your grandma by snail mail? Do you sit down to read a good book or do you wait for the movie release? Who was the last person you got to know by actually holding a conversation instead of “creeping” on their Facebook profile?
Over time the number of people who can answers these questions easily has decreased. As great as technology is it doesn’t have that sentimental value the old way of life did. We’ve become scared to hold a deep meaningful conversation in person and we slowly forget about the small things we love in the hustle and bustle that is our daily lives.
Do me a favor? Remind yourself about sentimental value and much much the little things can mean by taking just one day away from technology. You may be surprised by the change in your outlook it can create.