Hundreds of light years before the world wide web, information highways, and MySpace existed there was the invention of the adhesive postage stamp in 1837, the Pony Express, and the shuffle of letters between post offices and citizens across the globe. Letters would get lost and then found and later take days to reach their final destination. Somewhere in the midst of all these advances I was a subscriber to Barbie magazine, yes, Barbie magazine and an avid reader at that. It was through that magazine I came across the opportunity to purchase the addresses of five young persons across the U.S. and world to share experiences through nothing other than snail mail.
Those days are long gone and I admit I miss them dearly. Although e-mail makes writing our loved ones, debtors and absolute strangers much easier it’s quite impersonal and drab. How long does an e-card on your birthday excite you? Not long. Finding a pen pal doesn’t require searching through any magazines or gaining one through a grade school classroom project. Networking websites like MySpace and Friendster have been all the rage over the last couple of years, making it possible to make friends around the planet in one or two simple mouse clicks. Convenient, but boring.
There are some out there still longing to see the postmark, post stamp and handwriting from a friend we have yet to meet face-to-face in Mauritius somewhere. Here are two sites that promote snail mail pals. It’s a little hard to determine how long ago some of the addresses listed on this particular were posted, but it does provide some basic letter writing tips. This second one, Pen-Pals dot net seems pretty decent and also has some pen pal inspired music to listen to while searching for your new friend in Finland. In short, long live snail mail and the pen pals we make and keep from it!