Writing isn’t only about business. You tweet, you text, you update your status. Now more than ever, everyone is a writer. But how many of these electronic treasures do you preserve? You probably still save handmade cards from your kids but what else are you missing?
Who remembers notes passed in school? You don’t have to reveal your age but I will.
I have a box in my attic filled with meticulously folded sheets of notebook paper. Some are in little origami-type squares, some with a special fold that “locks” the note in place.
Some are written in pencil. Some with every other word in a different color ink.
Some are written as a page-long acronym – the challenge was to decipher every word from just one letter.
Some are 30 pages long (thank you, Wendy Morris); a fulfilled promise to write the longest school note ever.
And some of my favorites are from a guy named Tim (now my husband) who was in love with a friend of mine and wanted my help getting to know her.
It’s an in-depth history of my adolescence. OK, I admit, many of us would rather forget those times. But much of what we know about our collective history is due to the written record preserved in letters. The brilliant biography of founding father John Adams was based almost entirely on letters he exchanged with his wife. More than 1,100 of them!
Much of what passes as communication these days evaporates as soon as we hit the send button. Are there treasures we’re missing?
Recently, my favorite uncle was hospitalized in critical condition. The family rallied spectacularly and in hilarious fashion via private messages on Facebook. These words and images were a perfect reflection of what makes my family distinct.
As the self-appointed family historian, I printed and saved the entire thread. I knew it would entertain and delight my uncle. More importantly, I didn’t want it to just evaporate. It was worth preserving.
I do this every now and then when something catches my eye on Facebook or other sites. Maybe no one will read it but then again, maybe my kids’ kids will be happy they have something of their family’s history and wit to keep. Facebook will go the way of MySpace some day. Who knows what might take the place of Twitter?
You read more than ever – Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest. You write more than ever before, at least electronically. What are you saving?