Writing to friends across the globe


Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Learning firsthand about another’s culture is a unique and rewarding experience.

Melissa Martinez, Staff writer

An epoch defined by its overwhelmingly rapid technological advancements, while simultaneously being given its character by its quickly dissipating and vanishing sense of true community, the digital age is our dull reality. In an age where the majority of interactions are based strictly on online projections and personas of an individual, there is a lack of authenticity. Still, it is undeniable that there are ways that communicating has been made easier by the Internet.

The plethora of social media platforms that are so accessible to the general public makes the action of talking to someone across the globe less of a task and more of a thing we do unconsciously. It’s true that with social media and the Internet, communication over long distances is trouble-free. This gives the impression that something like a Pen Pal is completely pointless. However, a Pen Pal is an experience that neither social media nor online chat groups can compete with.

Having a Pen Pal is the foundation for improving reading and writing in a foreign language and developing a deeper understanding of culture. The act of writing letters encourages the writer to carefully select words that make the Pen Pal, on the receiving end, know precisely what is meant to be felt and understood.

This is exactly what makes writing to Pen Pals special. This allows for a closer and more intimate bond to be formed between the writer and Pen Pal, something that talking via social media cannot compare to. Writing allows for deep and meaningful connections.

The idea of having a Pen Pal is appealing to many, but a common obstacle is that many don’t know where to actually find one. By visiting websites like Global PenfriendsInternational Union of Mail-Artists, Pen Pal groups | Meetup, and Swap-bot you can easily, safely, and quickly connect with a Pen Pal and begin your journey.

Another possibility is to create your own club. LA Pen Pal Club provides information on how to do so. They advise that you find a place to meet and to advertise the club. They mention the possibility of contacting a local newspaper to spread the news and inform the community.