People of a certain age will remember having a pen pal or know of someone who had one. Growing up in Newfoundland, I had several pen pals when I was in school, teenagers in Alberta, Borneo and Taiwan. They opened the world to me at that time. We exchanged letters once a month, shared details of our lives and culture in words and photos via the postal service. We lost contact over the years but I have thought of them and wondered what they did in their lives.
In those days, I received a box of stationery for Christmas, matching paper and envelopes used to carry my teenage thoughts around the world. Today, I still like to have a nice box of stationery, though it is not used near as much these days. Today, an IPad and an app are all I need.
Now, blogging and following some other blogs, is like having modern day, digital pen pals. These new "pals" are all over the world, and blog on any variety of issues or topics, humourous, inspirational, political, arts/craft, genealogical, photographical, historical, cultural, and travel, to name a few. The only limit is one's imagination.
Now, leaving comments on other blogs, writing and responding to comments on my blog, let me communicate with people around the world. Blogging has helped me continue the writing begun in childhood, at a point in my life when I have time and more to say. These digital pen pals open the world to me today just as the traditional ones did years ago. The wonder of modern technology has made these "pals" easier to access than traditional mail ever made their predecessors.
This era of mass communication enables us to have the world in our homes in an instant. However, there is nothing like communication with people yourself to give you the essence of their culture and who they are. Something old is improved for the times.