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Do You Still Buy and Send Travel Postcards?

Some of my postcards

My blogging buddy, Ozias Sanchez who blogs as First Year of Freedom has me thinking about travel postcards. Ozias, or Mozes as he’s also known, collects them – new.

I’m old enough to remember a time before digital cameras and Facebook, when travel postcards were the primary way people who went on vacation shared their memories of what they saw with their family and friends (though the vacationer typically returned home before the postcards were received!).

I’ve kept most of the postcards I’ve received over the years – from Jamaica, the Ivory Coast, the UK, France, Spain, Gabon and several other countries – in a special album that allows me to see the message on the reverse. Each describes a particular moment in time. Sometimes the sender was pensive, boastful or curt (she was on vacation after all!). But more than anything else, when I look at them now, I remember the exact moment that I received each one and what was happening in my life.

It’s been quite sometime since I received or sent a postcard but whenever I go on vacation, I still buy a few. I tell myself I’m going to send them but I never do. I’m so busy squeezing every minute out of my vacation, I never allow myself time to write or find the post office to send them.

A few days ago, I asked my sister whether she still buys postcards. I was surprised to hear her say she did – but not for the reason I anticipated. She buys postcards that capture a particular scene she wasn’t able to do justice to with her photography skills.

My guess is that most people do.

Based on the number and variety of postcards on sale at souvenir shops, it’s difficult to estimate what effect technology (in particular, digital cameras and email) has had on postcard sales.

Why do you still buy or send travel postcards?

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Four Days Without a Phone

For the last four days, I’ve been without my cell phone.


I had envisioned a different week. One where I’d be able to contact friends, remain in touch with family and friends at home and check my email on the fly. I haven’t been able to do any of it.

The first day, Tuesday, was the most challenging. I’ve been so ‘connected’ and always ‘on’ that being without my phone felt like I had lost a vital body part.

At first, I did everything in my power to get re-connected. But nothing I tried worked. Plus, I couldn’t focus on fixing my phone when I had other more important matters to deal with.

So I realized that I had to chill. Being stressed about something I couldn’t change wasn’t doing me much good so I shifted my focus to what I could control.

Once I did that, I began to relax and remember now what life was like way back when I didn’t have a cell phone or a laptop. I survived then and I will now. Besides, it’s only temporary.

I hope to get my phone sorted out tomorrow but if I don’t, I know I will be fine.

Daily Post: Do You Prefer Talking to Text Messaging?

Texting on a keyboard phone
Image via Wikipedia

I definitely prefer talking to text messaging unless I’m in a setting where its impossible to have a phone conversation.

While text messages are great, they go only so far. They can’t tell me if I’ve made the person I’m communicating with upset, uncomfortable, insulted or angry.

When we speak face to face, we pick up visual cues and listen for audible cues to assess how the conversation is going.  Text messaging removes those cues and places the burden on abbreviated words to convey a range of emotions and intentions.

Unless my message is obviously funny, is a smiley face or LOL telling the recipient to laugh or that I’m laughing. (Although every time I see LMAO, I can’t help laughing out loud at the image it conjures up.)

And those abbreviations don’t work on my non-English speaking friends.

Sometimes, like today, after looking at the 20-odd messages that passed between a friend and I, I wondered, wouldn’t it have been better to just pick up the phone and talk?

That’s the other thing text messaging eliminates – the sound of peoples’ voices.

Frankly, all this technology keeps us separated in our own little worlds. I wouldn’t mind a little more face time with my friends.

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