When I was younger, I used to write letters and cards to older relatives, and probably because I was a child and because they were lonely, I received letters and cards and sometimes packages back. I wasn't always the best at doing so with regularity, and while I may have had great intentions to do so more frequently, honestly, I tended to forget to follow through. It gave me a brief twinge one day when I was cleaning to find a postcard that I had addressed and neglected to send to my now-deceased great-aunt.
In more recent years, I've tried picking up the correspondence habit with several aunts and cousins, but they never write back, so I let those trickle off. With friends, I never really tried snail-mail correspondence, but that was fine, because we had e-mail. While e-mail isn't the same thing as a physical, hand-written, genuine, hold-in-your-hand letter, it would typically cover the same grounds as a letter--chatty, reconnecting, sometimes philosophical discussions.
Unfortunately, that too disappears. It's not that we don't keep in touch; there's Facebook for that. But it's not the same at all. While commenting on status updates is a great way to keep up with people's day-to-day lives, it isn't the same as sitting down to a nice, long, thought-out letter or e-mail or composing them, knowing that in a day or few, there's going to be a corresponding one in your own inbox. I miss those.
Ultimately, it makes me wonder: are those days gone too? Am I already a relic in my nostalgic musings for meaningful connection beyond an increasingly soundbite-length attention span?