Dear Madam Smith,
I sometimes write my mother too, but not in a missive, in a text or email as Madam Pihlaja has told you about. Although our mothers are wise, they do not predict weather anymore. In this day we have the internet, which is every encyclopedia in the world, plus some, at our fingertips. On the telephones that Madam Pihlaja has told you about we also have items called, “apps” they are different platforms or ways for us to do something specific whether it is playing a game, planning the day, or contacting someone. One of those apps tells us what the weather will be like. It even shows photos and what is happening with the weather at that exact moment although it is not usually accurate.
In our day, on the internet, we have something called social media. It is a way to connect to others with electronics, which are mainly our phones and the internet. On our phones, we have apps, which I explained earlier. Some of these apps can send images of people immediately to others or even videos, which are a capture of what is happening right now, a capture of the movement and sounds. One app called Snapchat uses photos to communicate. Once someone views it, it deletes itself after ten seconds. It is a little weird but a popular invention. Another highly used app, which is also on the internet, is called Facebook. On this social media platform, which we view through a screen, we are able to share anything. We can share videos, photos, text, news articles, recipes, weather updates, and anything else you can think of. If we wanted and sometimes even if we do not want it, the whole world can see what we post and write. I do not like to use the social media pages much because I feel my thoughts are better shared in person and with those who I know will be respectful of my thoughts even if they disagree, but sometimes I post photos to Facebook and write private messages to people I have not talked to in awhile. It is a good way to see what others are doing.
Another highly used app, which is also on the internet, is called Facebook. On this social media platform, which we view through a screen, we are able to share anything. We can share videos, photos, text, news articles, recipes, weather updates, and anything else you can think of. If we wanted and sometimes even if we do not want it, the whole world can see what we post and write. I do not like to use the social media pages much because I feel my thoughts are better shared in person and with those who I know will be respectful of my thoughts even if they disagree, but sometimes I post photos to Facebook and write private messages to people I have not talked to in awhile. It is a good way to see what others are doing and keep in touch.
We also have something called Twitter. This platform can be limiting to what we write, but we can share photos and videos, which may depict our message just as well. In our videos, we can add written words to help our message along. This platform is usually used for promoting a business or for people who feel like putting information out there, personal or not. Twitter is not used as often for communicating with family and writing messages, but people seem to like it a lot.
Sometimes we use platforms such as LinkedIn, which is meant to tell others about our experiences and expertise so we can find a place to work. In this day, we do not do our own work, we do not grow our own food, make our own clothes, and sometimes watch our own children. We have to get jobs to pay others to do that work and this platform helps us present ourselves to the employers.
We also have something called blogs or the blogosphere. Yes, we still use funny words like thingjimmie-amabob and sometimes make up new words that sound just as silly such as blogosphere. A blog can be personal, creative, a journal, a how-to, or whatever else the author would like it to be. There is not a limit on the quantity of words used, but we do need to understand what people want to read and how they will view it to get the largest amount of people to look at our blogs. I do not know the reasoning people want others to view their blogs. It may be financial reasons but sometimes it is exciting to see that others are viewing it. Most people may write for themselves, to give themselves something to do, and to feel important and helpful to at least one reader. Blogs can be fun to write because you can be creative and personable.
Madam Smith, I do not think you are missing out. It is a wonderful feeling to immediately talk to a loved one or see photos of family members, but people are lonelier now than they used to be. Due to people having less face to face conversations, the conversations have turned impersonal and become less and less. When you walk into a room, drive down the road, or go into a restaurant you barely see people talking to one another. They are all looking at their phones. Some people look for attention online. They may find it, but it is temporary and probably unsatisfying. Some people find themselves feeling sad when they see what others have or what others want him or her to perceive what they have. Sometimes it is all an illusion, and people do not feel whole with their imaginary perfect lives. There are some wonderful benefits to having social media, such as creating awareness to a cause or helping boost someone’s confidence, but I think we were better off with face to face or written communication. I am sorry that I am ending on a negative not, but as a positive, you will hopefully treasure your communications as they are now.
Lady in Waiting Kasey
P.S. I know Madam Pihlaja said that there is not room to send anything but this letter, but I was able to make room for these two photos. I decided to sneak them in. She will never know! They are what a current day cell phone and computer look like. Enjoy!
Above: computer; Below: cell phone
This letter is in response to Madam Smith’s letter to me (also my final for the class):
Dear Madam, I wrote you some few weeks since and as I had not received a reply I thought my letter might be miss sent and I would write again. You wrote me some two months ago that you would interest yourself sufficiently to become my agent to procure means of knowledge of times beyond these. I await your next missive and desire heartily some vision of the communications in your age. For me, I pen a missive to my mother every two weeks, telling her in some detail of Hiram’s work and my fellow wives’ unseemly angers. Some time later, I duly receive a reply from dear mother. Generally, she reckons the weather will be might poor and predicts plagues upon the wheat. What I wonder is how people in your time, when not looking at each other face on, share information. Were I able to stuff my crinolines into our shared vacuum-tube thingjimmie-amabob, I should quite enjoy a hop to the future whereupon I could take stock of how you do your churning and how you cover your absences from each other. In your day, do you write words and, once the ink dries, drip some candle wax onto the envelope as seal? Do you await the hoof beats of the pony express rider? When you write, do you discuss the weather and the
wheat? I nurse a severe hankering to know how you connect with others in your modern age. Some part of me, I guess, wants to know if I would feel less alone were I alive in your time. What think you?
Do write some kind word to me on the reception of this; it will be gratefully received. We should not neglect to answer each other so long again. I had no time today but sit up an hour later past putting the ten four-year-olds to bed (1869 was a busy year for Hiram here in the compound!) to say to you, that you are kindly remembered.
Accept my best wishes and let me hear from you soon.
Ann Eliza G. Smith